An investor from the Netherlands told about running an agrarian business in Ukraine

In the Lviv region, in the city of Busk, there are unique greenhouses the process of growing greens in which is fully controlled by a computer, and the air temperature is 25 degrees above zero all year round, writes “Agro-Center” with a reference to “This Is Lviv”.

The owner of the greenhouse business in Lviv region is Michael Honders, a farmer from the Netherlands. For him, farming is a family business. At Michael’s farm, about thirty thousand salad bushes are harvested weekly. A special temperature is maintained (25 degrees) in the greenhouses. The amount of water, sunlight and the content of trace elements in water is controlled by a computer.

The first thing that the man complains about is bureaucracy and bad conditions for foreign investors in Ukraine.

“Anyone can work in a developed country. The real challenge is to change your way of thinking and create an agribusiness in a completely unusual environment. We knew that we were going to a country with an underdeveloped economy. But what’s important is that we grow food. Whatever happens, people will always want to eat,”

explained Honders.

It takes three weeks to grow salad. Nowadays, we grow many different varieties – Batavia, Lollo Rossa, Romaine, Frisee, arugula, and many others – in huge greenhouses.

“The computer keeps track of almost everything, and I only adjust its settings. We grow salad using a dry hydroponics method and use a peat substrate instead of soil. I watch over the process, check if the acidity level and the level of trace elements in water haven’t dropped,”

said Olga Dunchak, an agronomist at the company.

Michael Honders shared that it is not easy to manage an agrarian business in Ukraine. Equipment for greenhouses was purchased in the Netherlands, and the most unpredictable costs are payments for utilities since tariffs change almost every month.

“We recently opened another greenhouse here. We haven’t received a payback yet. I think the authorities should make business conditions more attractive to investors. The way I do my job, not a number of friends I have, should be important,”

said the farmer.

Michael believes that running an agribusiness is the most difficult in Ukraine. For example, in Georgia and Kazakhstan, the working conditions for foreign investors have been improved years ago. At the same time, the farmer considers Ukraine the most promising country in this niche.

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