Own business: Solanaceae cultivation

* The calculations use the average data for the World

The solanaceous family contains a considerable number of plants that are consumed by humans. It is to this family that such plants as potatoes, tomato, vegetable pepper, eggplant, and also a non-food plant - tobacco belong. Solanaceae for the most part began to be cultivated in the Old World only after the great geographical discoveries, that is, earlier only Indians in the Americas knew about these plants. But many solanaceous fruits have become very popular in cuisines around the world, and today are an indispensable part of the food of many people.

It can be very profitable to cultivate any cultivated species of solanaceae if you properly and properly organize your farming. Despite the fact that these plants have historically grown on a completely different continent, they have taken root well in Europe, and in Russia in particular, specially bred varieties allow these crops to be cultivated almost throughout the territory of this country.

The nightshade itself, which gave the name to the whole family - Solanaceӕ - is also an agricultural crop (or rather, some of its species), which is also eaten. But the economic importance of this plant is small in contrast to other crops. The cultivation of tomato, potato and sweet pepper was separately considered in the relevant articles, and this two more useful crops will be considered - capsicum (called capsicum) and eggplant.

In order to conduct their farming activities, it is necessary to register the form of a business entity. The form of peasant farms is best suited - peasant farming. In general, it is only necessary to register your activity with significant volumes of work and cultivated area (more than one hectare), otherwise you can have a private subsidiary farm, or private household plots, and earn small sales without paying even taxes. Small farmers are not interested in the state, unlike large farms.

The cultivation of capsicum and dark-fruited nightshade (which is eggplant) belongs to one category of vegetable growing from a legal point of view and falls under the coding of types of entrepreneurial activity (OKPD 2) 08/18/2019 Other fruit and vegetable crops. The whole registration procedure takes from 10 to 30 days, you need to allocate about 20 thousand rubles for it. But you can formalize a legal entity, but the extra difficulties associated with this are usually not advisable when conducting agricultural activities.

You can allocate about five hectares to your site, this is such an area on which you can get a crop sufficient for a good income, and at the same time not risk very large funds. Solanaceae can well enter a crop rotation with many crops, they will harmoniously fit into a multi-field economy that has existed for more than one year, so we can talk about growing solanaceous trees not only as the beginning of their activity, but also about expanding the existing agricultural business.

Many farmers have significant plots that were originally allocated to other plants; but since crops do not re-plant in the same place, some sites may be empty. They can be occupied with solanaceous. In the case of just starting a business, it is worth considering the rent for one hectare of land. The chernozem lands of the southwestern part of Russia have the highest price tag - about three and a half thousand rubles. The average price is two thousand rubles.

Thus, for the year it will take only ten thousand rubles, but you need to take into account the fact that you have to move for the whole season closer to your plants. Yes, few urban people are willing to exchange life in the city for a measured life in the suburbs, albeit with their own economy and their own business. That is, such entrepreneurship is primarily suitable for rural residents and is designed for them.

When the earth is found, it is worth thinking about technology. For these crops, a universal technique for vegetable growing is suitable, which should already be in a multidisciplinary farm. This includes a mini tractor, a plow, a cultivator, trailers, a grain seeder. All this equipment is acquired into ownership for their own or borrowed funds. There are many leasing offers on the market that are designed to support agriculture. You can also buy and not quite mandatory equipment, which is designed to cleanse the fruit from the rest of the plants or to extract seeds from the pulp. The rest of the equipment should be rented only if necessary, for example, special cleaning equipment.

Since cleaning is done a small number of times a year (depending on the number of plants and their varieties), it is economically more expedient to hire labor for these events. Sometimes manual labor may be required, and if you do not have enough of your own strength, then you can turn to the residents of the nearest villages and villages for help. The price of their manual labor is usually not high, and you can get helpers who will be inexpensive and will perform the work efficiently, as they are accustomed to work.

It is very important to decide which distribution channels this product will have. Both capsicum and eggplant are primarily vegetable crops, and therefore they sell well even at retail in the nearest market. In the case of growing good fruits, adequate pricing and the absence of worthy competitors, even the whole crop can be sold even at retail, and even demand will remain. However, these two types of solanaceae are somewhat less commonly consumed by humans, so it is sometimes easier and more profitable to sell the collected plants to resellers, who will pay a lot at once and eliminate the need to store a large amount of vegetables. Sometimes storage costs can be quite expensive; and indeed, stocks are means withdrawn from circulation.

You can also start wholesale sales to retailers: in large and small vegetable stores, market vendors, minimarkets and supermarkets, and if successful, in hypermarkets. This is the best way, which is a kind of “middle ground”, because it will turn out to sell significant volumes of goods in a relatively short time, have established sales channels and receive a relatively high price for your goods, bypassing the extra participants in the logistics chain that are represented by resellers. But for organizing a business using this method, it’s very good to get hold of your own packaging equipment or at least start packing products into bags of the same mass.

Ideally, there should be a package and a label (only in this case it will be possible to reach large retailers). All this can be made independently, and packaging costs will be included in the cost of production. Or you can give the packaging, packaging and labeling to a third-party company (or at least just buy ready-made containers and packages from them). The costs of such an organizational issue will be quickly returned, as this will significantly increase the marketability of vegetables, and therefore increase their sales. Now you can take a closer look at each of the two species separately.

Capsicum. It has an incorrect name from a botanical and scientific point of view in general (to a large extent - more common) - vegetable pepper. Capsicum is a genus of solanaceous plants, which includes such species and subspecies as Capsicum annuum, or Bulgarian pepper, sweet pepper; and Capsicum frutescens, or hot pepper, cayenne pepper, chili pepper. There are other species, but these two are interesting to agriculture. It is incorrect to call them peppers, because all these plants have nothing to do with pepper, but the name has taken root due to the similarity of use - as a spice. Although sweet pepper, it’s paprika, it’s also Bulgarian pepper is mostly a vegetable, and is an ingredient in many dishes. But hot pepper, which is a typical representative of the genus

Capsicum is a spice, seasoning, spice. A very small number of people use it in its raw form and a very small amount of the plant is eaten at one time. A rare person can eat the whole fruit of this plant in one meal. Although on this occasion, even competitions are arranged. But from an economic point of view, this culture is of approximately equal interest to ordinary consumers and food enterprises that produce spices and seasonings. They need a large amount of capsicum. Varieties of this plant are selected primarily not only by yield, germination percentage and other agricultural parameters, but also by the content of capsaicin, an alkaloid, which determines the degree of burning taste. But at the same time, cultivating only sharp varieties is not worth it, because peppers with a mild taste are needed to create seasonings, some dishes and easy to eat.

So, in order to grow a capsicum crop, you need to purchase seeds and prepare seedlings. Solanaceae are often planted with seedlings, and not sown. Capsicum is a very thermophilic culture; therefore, it is grown in Russia in large quantities only in the southwest; however, in the central part of the country it is transferred to greenhouse cultivation, where sometimes it sometimes gives even better than in open ground yield indicators.

Plants are placed in the soil when it is warmed up to + 15- + 18 ° C. At lower temperatures, the capsicum may die. It is important that the land for this crop is better allocated irrigated, this gives a significant increase in productivity. Loamy and sandy loam soils with a neutral acidity are best suited for capsicum; on other types of soils, the plant either withers or does not give a good crop.

The precursors of this culture can be legumes, cabbage, pumpkin, especially cucumber, as well as perennial grasses if the field has been uncultivated for a long time. Growing one after another plants of the same genus and even families is not recommended, as this leads to the accumulation of specific pathogens in the soil. It is necessary to fertilize the earth with both organic compounds and minerals, the capsicum responds particularly well to the balance of organics with minerals. On one hectare of land, about 80 thousand plants can get along with each other; To ensure such sowing, you need to purchase about one and a half kilograms of seeds per hectare of land - this is the sowing rate for seedlings of the type of cultivation (for regular sowing, more seeds will be needed). It turns out that five hectares will require seven and a half kilograms of seed material. The cost of one kilogram varies greatly depending on the type, and averages 7 thousand rubles.

Thus, it will take 52 thousand 500 rubles for the purchase of seeds for seedling growing capsicum. But the yield of this plant can be called relatively high, because when grown in open ground, capsicum gives up to 20 tons per hectare, and in a greenhouse - more than 100 tons. If we take into account exactly the open ground, then 100 tons of the harvest are collected from five hectares, the cost of one ton of sharp capsicum is about 80 thousand rubles. The income will be 8 million rubles in the case of a good harvest, full sale of the entire consignment of goods and good quality berries (namely, the fruits are capsicum fruits). Harvested only after 120-140 days after the start of cultivation, and the capsicum is not planted next to paprika or another sweet variety, since cross-pollination will deprive both types of plants of their most important qualities.

Eggplant. Also called dark-fruited nightshade. As well as capsicum, it is a perennial plant; in management, the species Solánum melongéna is used. Eggplant is also not a typical Russian culture, but it came to Europe not from America, like most vegetable crops related to it, but from Asia. Eggplant fruits are large berries (from a botanical point of view) of various shades, the most common are varieties with purple or bluish flowers of the fruits. They are harvested a bit immature, because otherwise the fruits begin to accumulate the poisonous solanine, which is poisonous to people. To avoid this, you need to know exactly the maturity of the fruit when buying seeds, as well as ways to determine the technical maturity of the plant.

This plant is grown mainly in seedlings, this culture loves heat more than all other members of the family, and therefore gives good productivity only in the south-west of Russia and the Volga region. Eggplant does not need much moisture, it grows well on enriched non-acidic soils, loves light, but bears fruit only in case of short daylight hours. Therefore, early varieties are artificially shaded in the early evening for greater productivity. Seedlings are planted on fertilized soil, on which green manure or crops such as cereals, carrots, onions or pumpkin used to grow.

The predecessors should not be solanaceous family cultures. The seeding rate for this plant in the seedling method is only half a kilogram per hectare. This is due to the relatively high percentage of germination of seeds and their very small size. Therefore, five hectares will require about two and a half kilograms of seed material. One kilogram costs about five thousand rubles, and thus twelve and a half thousand should be allocated for the purchase of future plants. Eggplant also grows about 140 days, some varieties up to 120, which does not allow to plant this plant too late in spring. Many farmers use dark-fruited nightshade as an annual crop, annually updating plants and replanting them in a new place. Eggplant productivity varies depending on the variety; some elite varieties, even in open ground, can produce 90 tons per hectare. In closed ground, this figure reaches 140 tons. But on average, yield indicators are an order of magnitude lower, and you can count on 40 tons per hectare. When the farm is designed for five hectares, the total yield reaches 200 tons.

The cost of one kilogram of eggplant is 25 rubles, then the total revenue from the sale of all fruits can be 5 million rubles. But if you evaluate both cultures - capsicum and eggplant - it is a little easier to grow the first, and sell the large quantities of the second.

The Solanaceae family includes many other species that are also considered vegetable crops, but due to their low prevalence and popularity, it is not worth it to engage in their industrial cultivation. There are several especially large enterprises that are engaged in crops that are unusual for ordinary consumers, but grow them primarily as medicines, and a very small part of them goes to the food industry.

A representative of Solanaceae such as Physalis is relatively popular. The type of vegetable physalis, or Physális philadélphica, may also be of interest as a dietary product, and it is quite possible that it will become unexpectedly popular in the near future, as happened several decades ago with oats. But at the moment, even on already common plants, you can make good money if you sincerely love and understand agriculture and vegetable growing in particular.

Matthias Laudanum

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