Ivan Belozertsev gave this instruction during his inspection of the Malinki farm production base for growing garden strawberries, raspberries and currants in the Maloserdobinsky district on Thursday, July 30, 2020.
Roman and Marina Kravchenko's family farm dates back to 2015, when the couple arrived from Sochi for permanent residence in Staroye Slavkino. They purchased 20 hectares of land, ordered a detailed soil analysis to choose plants for cultivation and registered a farm in 2017.
"We have long wanted to grow berries. In Sochi we saw strawberries cultivated. We watched the process, learned a little and decided to try it. But we didn't manage to find the earth in the South, we weren't needed there," - Marina Kravchenko told the story of their farm creation.
"Then we remembered that the Penza Oblast had fertile land. We were welcomed in Staroye Slavkino, and they immediately started registering the land," she added noting that the authorities' help allowed their small enterprise to gain confidence.
In 2018 under the "Novice Farmer" programme the Kravchenko family received state support in the amount of 1 million 500 thousand rubles for their enterprise to develop.
The grant funds were used to purchase lift-type equipment - a disc header and a soil cutter, as well as an engine-driven pump, a 5-hectare irrigation system, a filter station for drip irrigation; and strawberry seedlings were also purchased.
At the moment a small agricultural enterprise has a full set of agricultural equipment, two MTZ-80 tractors, two ploughs, a cultivator, a subsurface cultivator, a grass-mowing machine and a vegetable cultivator. Hired workers are recruited only during the berry harvest period.
The farm plans to further increase the garden strawberries, raspberries and currants planting area and to organise a treatment facility.
During the conversation with the Governor, entrepreneurs said that in addition to the existing plantings they planted garden strawberries on 1-ha-area in July this year. 3 Italian and Dutch selection varieties are planted.
The first wild strawberry yield in the amount of 30 centners was received in 2018. In 2019 the gross harvest of this berry was 50 centners.
In 2020 the area of 3.2 hectares was harvested in the amount of 100 kg. All the gathered yield was sold in Penza.
The Governor approved of the fruit farm development.
"It is the best example for novice farmers to develop. The most important thing is a great desire to organise your business and the availability of land," Ivan Belozertsev said.
"We will continue to support your farm and its like. It is especially needed in remote areas where there is no large business, where it is difficult to attract well-known companies because everyone wants to create production as close as possible to the centre, the federal highway," he added.
The Governor instructed to analyse the work and achievements of the region's farms in recent years and to make up mechanisms to increase grant support for those farms that have achieved substantive results, created jobs and increased the output volume.