Agriculture in modern Russia is represented not only by the cultivation of traditional plants that have been cultivated for centuries, but also atypical for the climate of this country. The selection has achieved unprecedented success, and now many thermophilic or hygrophilous plants can be grown in the cold regions of Russia. At the same time, the south-west of the Russian Federation is a relatively warm region in which plants that are accustomed to heat and light grow and bear fruit. Thus, the Russian farmer can take up the culture that is still only being imported into the country, which will allow him to sell his products at a slightly lower price. One of these plants is the almond tree.
To start work, you must register as a business entity if you have to work on land with a total area of more than one hectare. If not, then you do not need to register, you will not have to pay taxes, and this type of activity falls under the category of personal subsidiary plots. But for the industrial cultivation of plants significant areas are needed, and then you will have to become either an individual entrepreneur or a legal entity. At the same time, there is a special form that is similar to private entrepreneurs - peasant farming or peasant farms. In this case, it is possible to make tax deductions according to the preferential tax system (single agricultural tax - Unified agricultural tax). Registration takes place at the local branch of the tax office or at the institution performing its functions. The code of this activity is (OKPD 2) 01.25 Fruits of other fruit trees, shrubs and nuts.
Usually, registration of one's peasant-farm enterprise takes place without additional difficulties within one month, and it is better for an entrepreneur to allocate about 20 thousand rubles for all bureaucratic procedures (although the cost of the state fee does not exceed even half of this money).
After solving all legal issues with registration, you can begin to search for a place for future crops. Almonds grow best in the south of Russia; in fact, only non-breeding varieties can take root there. But even they cannot always bear fruit in the climate of southern Russia. Therefore, today there are many varieties that are suitable for cultivation even in the central part of Russia. Even winter-hardy varieties have been developed that can be left for the winter without the risk of plant death, for example, trees tolerate cold up to minus twenty degrees Celsius. Nevertheless, the fruiting of these varieties leaves much to be desired, and almonds are grown on an industrial scale almost exclusively in the southwest. In the more northern latitudes, it is mainly occupied by amateur gardeners who do not derive substantial profit from the sale of almonds, sometimes planting these plants simply because of their beautiful flowering.
Ordinary almonds are small trees, but some breeding varieties are shrubs at all. Almond tree due to its powerful root system can grow on fairly poor soils that have been previously fertilized with organic matter. Therefore, it is not necessary to rent black earth land, in order to save money, you can rent land with other types of soil. The highest price per hectare of land per year can reach three and a half thousand rubles, but on average it is two thousand rubles. It is not worth immediately allocating huge tracts for planting an almond garden; it is enough to limit yourself to a field of five hectares. The rental price of this land will average about 10 thousand rubles.
Cultivated, as a rule, the species Prunus dulcis, which is part of the genus Plum. Yes, almonds are a close relative of plums and cherry plums. As you can guess from this, the fruits of almonds are not nuts, although they are often ranked among them. It is also necessary to distinguish between bitter and sweet almonds, which are grown for different purposes, because they are unevenly used in human activity. Often, of course, sweet almonds are used, which is an ingredient in many culinary dishes, bitter often becomes the basis for almond oil, as well as a component in the creation of some mixtures - marzipan or praline.
Bitter almonds give a special flavor to the dish, although the taste itself in its pure form is not pleasant to most people. Bitter almonds also have a special pleasant smell, which, according to some people, also has potassium cyanide. Oilcake plants are not eaten either by humans or animals, as they are poisonous, and therefore they are simply disposed of or sent to make medicines. Thus, on five hectares of your garden you can grow different varieties of almonds, only mostly sweet, but do not cultivate bitter at all. This will cover a large number of potential consumers and be able to independently create some products. Indeed, a lot of drinks are also prepared from almonds or with its use: from almond milk to liquor, Amaretto, for example, where a bitter variety of almond seeds may be needed.
Almonds are rarely sown, usually ready-made seedlings of this plant are purchased to create a garden. They are not difficult to find on sale at large agricultural enterprises, while the price of one seedling is about 250 rubles. The garden should be planned so that the trees are planted in groups of several plants, this allows them to more effectively absorb the necessary components from the soil. On average, one plant will require about 35 m2, taking into account that there is access to all plants.
Thus, about 280 trees can fit on one hectare. It turns out that one hectare will require about 70 thousand rubles for planting, and for five hectares this amount will be 350 thousand rubles. Almonds grow well even on stony soils, feel great on clay and loamy soil, tolerate leached soil, but are very sensitive to the content of salts and acid compounds. In advance, the soil is fertilized with nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus are introduced a little later, manure and other organic fertilizers also have a good effect on the growth of almonds.
Almond seedlings are placed, taking into account the fact that nearby trees or shrubs of different varieties grow - this is necessary for pollination of plants and increase the beneficial properties of their fruits. Some varieties of almonds are completely poorly pollinated by representatives of their own variety, so they need closely related plants that are dominant (pollinating). The presence of pollinating insects also has a good effect on pollination efficiency, which is why the almond garden combines very well in a multidisciplinary farm with its own apiary. Bees will be able to take on the job of pollination of almond trees, while the amount of honey extracted from one bee family will increase significantly. This reduces the difficulties for the beekeeper in finding new fields for honey collection.
If you grow almonds along with other honey plants, then your own apiary will begin to generate significant income due not only to an increase in honey reserves, but also due to its diversity. An almond plant will bear fruit better if it is irrigated, constant moderate moisture only has a positive effect on this crop, even though the almond is drought tolerant. But what he does not tolerate is the proximity of groundwater.
Almonds are affected by a large number of diseases and harmful insects, pests are similar to agricultural plum pests. A specific insect - plum thornfish - pupates in the seed itself, and the caterpillars spoil the leaves of the plant. There are also other insects that harm the almond plants, for example, the almond leaf sawfly or the almond seed eater. You can get rid of all diseases and insects in the classical ways (harvesting fruits and leaves that have fallen earlier than the term, manually sorting out rotten fruits), but in the case of an industrial garden it is much more efficient and easier to use pesticides and other toxic substances. Also, plants need to be constantly fed, so that they are not very susceptible to the harmful effects of microorganisms. If you do not take care of the garden, its productivity can be reduced to almost zero.
Growing almonds, like any other fruit tree, is associated with a very long payback period due to the fact that the plant begins to bear fruit only 3-5 years after planting, before that it does not always even bloom. The maximum fruiting is observed in almonds during the period from the tenth to the fifteenth year of life, but this plant can produce fruits for several decades. Thus, you should not count on a quick payback, any garden is an investment in the future, you can’t get a quick profit from them. Therefore, as in the case of other crops, growing almonds is associated with other activities. As a rule, gardens are planted by farmers who already have experience working with other plants.
If you count, then on five hectares of land is located almost one and a half thousand plants, 1400, to be exact. Almond fruits are formed in large numbers by groups, and in one season one tree can bring up to 15 kilograms of finished products, that is, peeled almonds. The record is about 80 kilograms per tree, in some countries where almonds are a natural inhabitant, yields are slightly higher than in Russia, but even 15 kilograms per tree in this country is an excellent indicator.
Almonds begin to bloom early in relation to many other cultivated plants, so a sudden cooling often destroys the nascent crop. Since the plant propagates by cross-pollination, and it requires a large number of pollinating insects, the fruits ripen only at the end of summer or even at the beginning of autumn. The fruit is not a nut, but a simple drupe, although in cooking almonds are traditionally considered a nut. Apparently, this is due to the fact that the seed is surrounded by pericarp, which must be removed to obtain the fetus. Today, almonds are sold either freshly picked or already peeled, in most cases, peeling of this plant from the husk is used. Thus, 4 tons and 200 kilograms of peeled almonds are collected from one hectare, with five hectares this figure is 21 tons. Imported almonds are sold in bulk at 400-500 rubles per kilogram. To ensure the competitiveness of their products, the price of them can be reduced to 300-350 rubles per kilogram, provided that the almonds are not inferior in quality to the brought. Then the amount of income will be 6 million 300 rubles in the case of the sale of the entire volume of the product at a price of 300 rubles per kilogram. At the same time, such a price will make it possible to draw the attention of all industries to Russian goods, which can significantly reduce their procurement costs. Therefore, we can say that the cultivation of almonds has significant prospects, and will be a good start for the farmer, leading a multidisciplinary farm.
But you can earn not only by selling the fruits themselves. If seeds of bitter almonds are grown in the garden, then in combination with sweet seeds you can do home production of marzipan. If the farm is run by a farmer with his family, then she will have enough opportunities to establish an additional type of business, which will become a new source of income. A similar practice has spread in Europe, and gradually this idea comes to this country. A plant grower who grows almonds on his own can significantly save on raw materials, and therefore offer cheaper finished products that are not inferior in quality.
Directly marzipan is an almond flour mixed with powdered sugar or syrup. According to legend, almonds were ground in flour during the famine, when there were no other bread substitutes, but soon marzipan was considered a noble product. Marzipan differs from praline - crushed almond seeds fried in sugar. Home production can be arranged when purchasing flour milling equipment, and at the same time a paste-like mass will be obtained that has a pleasant taste and smell. The presence of bitter almonds affects them very much. Marzipan is called culinary clay, as it is easily molded and amenable to molding. At the same time, this product can be stored for up to two weeks, it can be processed with food colors, which makes marzipan the product from which confectionery can be made of any shape, color and size. Decoration in marzipan figures of solemn and thematic cakes is especially popular in Europe, although this delicacy can be used separately. If the cook knows how to sculpt the necessary figures from the dough, then it will be even easier to manage with marzipan, which allows you to carry out orders of varying complexity for all kinds of dishes.
Thus, the collected almonds are divided into parts, a significant part goes on sale, and a small amount remains with the farmer for the production of marzipan. Almond seeds turn into flour, while separately preparing bitter and sweet almonds. After this, syrup, sugar, beaten eggs, flavorings, colorings and the like are added, depending on the recipe. Large marzipan factories do not give recipes, considering it a trade secret, but you can create your own recipe, since the main ingredients are known.
After the mass is ready, you can begin to fantasize and sculpt anything. Demand for such products is still small, but a good advertising campaign will attract the right consumers who will appreciate such an unusual way of decorating dishes. In the development process, you can not only stop at work according to applications, but also open your own store of marzipan figures, in which works will be presented.
If your own funds are not enough, then you can agree with the confectionery stores on the supply of their products to their counter. The word marzipan itself is relatively famous and is perceived by a person as something unusual, tasty and exclusive (although, in fact, Marzipan translates as March bread).
A well-established home factory for the production of marzipan can be not only additional income, but also a good opportunity to occupy a niche that is still empty in this country. After all, it is easier to bring almonds to Russia from other countries than much more perishable marzipan, which increases the price of an imported product for the end user. There are still a number of enterprises that offer decoration of marzipan cakes, but many of them use not just imported almonds, but generally replace them with walnuts or apricot kernels. All this allows you to become the first player in the market who offers a real quality product at an affordable price for marzipan. Marzipan can also be different, and its price is determined primarily by the content of almond mass. Varieties of marzipan with almonds up to 25% are common, although in particularly expensive this figure reaches 70%.
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