In five years, Russia may have its own olive oil. The scientists of the Crimean Federal University of V. I. Vernadsky (CFU) have started growing olives in greenhouses in order to develop a technology for olive oil production in Russia.
The CFU scientists are planning on harvesting the first ever commercial crop of greenhouse olives for oil production in 2025 Mikhail Sergeev, the University Vice-Rector for External Communication, said in his interview to the TASS: ‘We are not planning on producing oil; instead, we are preparing a project for those farmers who will grow olives and produce oil.
We are developing best technologies as scientific practitioners. By doing so, we are eliminating all risks for the manufacturers and giving them a model ready to launch’. The CFU scientists made the first step in October 2019 when they received a 15-litre pilot batch of olive oil made from olives grown in open ground. Now in Simferopol region they have started implementing a project for planting olives in greenhouses in a 1 ha area. ‘We are planning on planting around 1,000 young plants. International practice shows that the intensive planting method gives the first small crop in year four and a commercial crop in year five’.
It is planned to plant the trees by stages; a few will be planted in spring and the main part in autumn of this year. According to Sergeev, this will be the first experience of a kind in Russia. Heat-loving olives will be grown in the plain, where the air temperature may drop to minus 12 degrees. Greenhouses are built with special care, using special multi-layer cladding and providing water and power supply. It is expected that 1,000 ha should yield around 3 tons of olives in 2026; this amount will give approximately 360 litres of extra virgin olive oil.
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