Mr. Anton Mingazov
In conversation with Mr. Anton Mingazov, Aksentis
‘About 5-6 years ago, my father and I started farming. We have an uncle in Kazakhstan who has been growing potatoes for 25 years. He had good results, and we decided to try it as well. In 2012 we bought land in the Nizhniy Novgorod region, about 450 km east from Moscow, and we built facilities.
Building from scratch
Our business is located in the central part of Russia. This is a historical potato district with favorable conditions; about 500 mm rainfall per year, no hot summers, no need to irrigate. We grow on sandy soil, which makes it easy to harvest. Our district is the second biggest potato-growing district.
We built everything from scratch; there was no electricity, no gas, and not even any roads. We are still building, but we are in the final stage. When the built is complete we will have storages, offices, grain storage, a laboratory, a garage and machines. The storage capacity will be 30.000 tons: 20.000 tons box storage and 10.000 tons bulk. 2012 was the first year we planted potatoes and grain. We started with 160 hectares potatoes. Now we have 500 ha potatoes.
From table potatoes to seed potatoes
I started as a grower for the table potato market. Red Scarlett was our first variety. After two years working in that market, I noticed there is a big problem with the lack of high quality seed. The demand for quality seed is a growing in Russia. The percentage of people who understand the importance of quality increases every year. And for me it is a way to earn extra money. I started to grow seed potatoes. Now my focus is on seed potatoes. 70-80% of our cash volume comes from seed potatoes.
The next step
We also have a minituber production and produce first and second field generations. There are not many people in Russia who can say they can grow first or second field generations. We try to do this and it’s my biggest challenge and the key for the next step. Our target for the next 5 years is to produce the whole line of seed from minitubers to class E. The first results are good. This year we have had trials with varieties that are new for the Russian market. Out of 47 varieties on the trial field, Gioconda performed really well. It was number 1 with the highest tot yield per ha.
We work with high technology, the best of the best. I am young, I love technology and I think it’s interesting to see how we can apply technology and get the best results.
HZPC in Russia is a very professional company and provides good service. We have the same targets and mindset about how to increase volumes, quality, etc. We’ve planted expensive seed material in an area where there haven’t been results yet. HZPC decided to try it and also helps in the field, exchanging information with our agronomists. We believe in each other.‘