Cotton growing experiment in Russia was successful and in 2020, the Tersky agricultural enterprise plans to begin industrial production of cotton in the Stavropol Territory. This was told by TASS Minister of Agriculture of the region Vladimir Sitnikov. He recalled that on the initiative of Governor Vladimir Vladimirov last year, a pilot project was launched to cultivate cotton, which has not been grown in the region on an industrial scale for more than half a century. “Now we can clearly say that the experiment was a success, and based on the first results it was decided that the investor would bring the project to an industrial level,” Sitnikov said.
Next year, Tersky plans to sow about 1 thousand ha with cotton, the minister said. “From this area we will be able to get about 4 thousand tons of raw cotton, which in terms of fiber will be about 1.4 thousand tons,” Sitnikov calculated. Until 2024, the farm plans to introduce 20 thousand hectares of irrigated land, where 5 thousand hectares will be allocated for cotton production. This will allow annually to receive more than 20 thousand tons of raw cotton, the official added.
The accompanying production under the project should be a plant for primary processing of cotton, where cotton fiber will be separated from seeds. The construction of the plant was announced in February by the Stavropol governor. “This part of the project is the most complex and capacious in terms of resources,” said Sitnikov. According to him, the total cost of the plant will be about 12 billion rubles, but it will be built in stages – as the raw crop increases.
Sowing cotton in the Stavropol Territory, where agricultural crops were grown until 1964, was resumed in 2018. In 2019, as reported on the government’s website, cotton occupied 31 hectares at the Tersky farm. Last week, the governor personally launched the harvesting of agricultural crops, which was the country’s first harvesting on an industrial scale with the help of combines, the press service of the head of the region. At the ceremony, Vladimirov said that the regional authorities will make cotton growing a strategic area of agriculture in the Stavropol Territory. Productivity is more than 40 centners / ha, the expected gross yield of raw cotton is over 130 tons and cotton growing experiment in Russia was successful.
According to the Stavropol Ministry of Agriculture, investments in the Tersky cotton cultivation project can amount to 7.5 billion rubles, 2.24 billion rubles will be invested in the purchase of specialized equipment. If state support measures are approved in the region, the project’s profitability will be up to 46%. Growing cotton gives good profitability, the Director General of the Russian Cotton company (Astrakhan region, has been engaged in agriculture since 2016) confirmed to Agroinvestor Dmitry Chapaev. According to him, the cost of 1 ha, from which you can get an average of 15 centners of fiber, is about 32 thousand rubles, and the average price of fiber reaches 137 thousand rubles / ton. It is planned to open a processing plant on the territory of Russian Cotton in 2020, the capacity of one section will be 1 ton / hour with the possibility of further expansion of production. Investments in processing facilities are estimated at 100 million rubles.
Last year, the average yield of raw cotton, according to updated data from Rosstat, was 21.1 centners / ha. Agriculture was grown in four regions – in addition to the Stavropol Territory (34 tons) it is the Astrakhan Region (32 tons), Volgograd Region (22 tons) and Dagestan (14 tons). According to the Ministry of Agriculture of Russia, subject to restoration of existing and construction of new reclamation systems, the maximum sown area under cotton will be 220 thousand ha.
In the meantime, Russian textile enterprises are working on imported cotton fiber. Now there is no shortage of cotton: it is brought in from Central Asia in sufficient quantities and not all can be sold on the domestic market, the Executive Secretary of the Soyuzlegprom Cotton Committee Anna Orozova told Agroinvestor earlier. She noted that Russian cotton will have to compete with foreign, primarily Central Asian producers but cotton growing experiment in Russia was successful.
Information provided by the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation.