Interagro experts estimate that greenhouse tomato production will increase by at least 6% to 1.15 million tons by the end of 2025. It will be possible to do this by introducing new capacities.

In 2023, the planted area in greenhouses expanded by 1.5% to 38.9 million square meters, and over the past six years it has grown by 11.1% to 35 million square meters. In the first place in terms of planted area in greenhouses is the Central Federal District (11.3 million square meters), followed by the North Caucasian Federal District (8.9 million square meters) and the Volga Federal District (6.2 million square meters).

Graph 1. Greenhouse area in the Russian Federation, million square meters

Source: Rosstat

Bulk yield

Despite the expansion of the planted area, in 2023 the production of vegetables in greenhouses decreased by 1.12% to 2.23 million tons. Interagro experts suggest that a key role here was played by a decrease in the gross harvest of cucumbers by 6% in the Central Federal District and the Volga Federal District, since they account for more than half of the harvest, up to 571.8 thousand tons. Last year, 1.05 million tons of greenhouse cucumbers were harvested, compared to 1.08 million tons in 2022.

The tomato industry, on the contrary, surpassed cucumber production for the first time in the last six years and increased by 0.7% compared to the previous year to 1.08 million tons, thereby compensating for the overall decline.

Graph 2. Gross harvest of cucumbers and tomatoes in greenhouses on farms, thousand tons

Source: Rosstat

Interagro experts estimate that greenhouse tomato production will increase by at least 6% to 1.15 million tons by the end of 2025 due to the introduction of new capacities. Several investment projects specializing in tomato production are currently being implemented in the country.

In particular, this year, Dary Prirody LLC of the Leningrad Region has already launched a greenhouse complex, and new plants are also planning to build such giants as Belaya Dacha in Stavropol, ECO-Culture in the Republic of Bashkortostan, and the Alania Greenhouse Complex in North Ossetia. 

This is a very important aspect, since according to the assessment of the Fruit and Vegetable Union in 2023, the level of self-sufficiency for cucumbers was 95%, while for tomatoes it was 65%, that is, the share of imported products was set at 5% and 35%, respectively. As for domestic trade, 578.3 thousand tons of greenhouse vegetables were exported outside the Russian Federation in 2023 (579.8 thousand tons in 2022), including 398 thousand tons of cucumbers (401.8 thousand tons) and 175.6 thousand tons of tomatoes (175.4 thousand tons). The market of greenhouse tomatoes of domestic production has a lot to grow.

In general, over the past six years, there has been a significant breakthrough in the market of greenhouse cucumbers and tomatoes, their production increased by 16.5% and 29.9%, respectively. According to the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation, the profitability of the sector in 2023 reached record levels for the first time since 2018 and, excluding subsidies, amounted to 22.8% (-0.2% in 2022).

According to Interagro, in addition, the harvest of greenhouse cucumbers and tomatoes should also grow due to the intensification of fertilizer application. Over the period from 2018 to 2023, the area of greenhouses fertilized with mineral fertilizers increased more than 5 times, to 16.7 thousand hectares, organic — 10.5 times, to 2.1 thousand hectares. In total, 32.1 thousand tons of mineral fertilizers (an increase of 2 times compared to 2018) and 75.8 thousand tons of organic fertilizers (an increase of 6 times) were applied in 2023.

According to Interagro experts, high profitability is also achieved through the use of automation in all production cycles.

"We have long been accustomed to seeing neat trays of tomatoes and cucumbers on supermarket shelves. Today, it is impossible to do this without automatic lines where sorting, packaging, and labeling of the product takes place," comments Yekaterina Babaeva, CEO of the Interagro Group of companies. — The use of automation, for example, at the sorting site, allows you to differentiate the product, improve its quality and sell it at a higher price. It is also beneficial for the manufacturer to pack the goods — packaging adds up to 30% to the cost of the product, and at the same time it is packaged vegetables that are more likely to be bought."

The leading positions in the production of greenhouse cucumbers in Russia are occupied by the Central Federal District and the Volga Federal District with a gross harvest of 333.1 thousand tons and 238.7 thousand tons, respectively. By region, the top 5 in terms of production volumes included the Moscow Region (914 thousand tons), the Lipetsk Region (776 thousand tons), the Republic of Tatarstan (469 thousand tons), the Volgograd Region (412 thousand tons), the Novosibirsk Region (412 thousand tons).

In the tomato production segment, the key districts are the Central Federal District and the North Caucasus Federal District, with production here increasing by 4.2% to 547.8 thousand tons by 2022. In the context of regions over the past year, significant changes, in addition to small permutations, were not recorded, the top 5 included Stavropol Territory (919.2 thousand tons), Krasnodar Territory (724.6 thousand tons), Lipetsk Region (702.8 thousand tons), Moscow Region (674.4 thousand tons) and the Republic of Dagestan (544.5 thousand tons).

The least greenhouse cucumbers and tomatoes are grown in the Far Eastern Federal District — 55.5 thousand tons or 2.6% of the total volume.

Sales of greenhouse vegetables

Source: Rosstat

The growth rate of tomato sales exceeds the indicator for cucumbers, both in quantitative and financial terms: 596 thousand tons of tomatoes were sold (an increase of 1.8 times compared to 2018) in the amount of 87 billion rubles (an increase of 3.5 times), cucumbers — 721 thousand tons (an increase of 1.5 times) in the amount of 78 billion rubles (2.3 times growth).