TRADE AND MARKET I NG Opportunities for the potato in Belarus The supermarket sells loose potatoes or simple net bags, but not yet the exclusive packaging that Radevich sells. the opportunity to store, process and sell all our home-grown potatoes ourselves, the entrepreneur emphasises with satisfaction.’ ‘According to Tummers, we’re now the third largest flake manufacturer in Europe’, he proudly adds. In order to provide the factory with sufficient raw material, Radevich wants to expand the acreage of potatoes for Sula Plus to 2,000 hectares. He partly wants to provide that himself, but he and Sobel have also set up a partnership with eighteen different kolkhozes to expand cultivation. Russia appreciates Belarus potatoes Radevich senior was already director of a kolkhoz during the Soviet era. After perestroika, he worked in Minsk for ten years. In 2000, he started his own business growing 50 hectares of potatoes. The name Sula is the river in the region where they get the water for irrigating the best potatoes. Since then, his company has specialised in potatoes. Today, there is a mechanical cooling and a packaging line where he supplies both 20 Vladimir and daughter Christina Radevich want to specialise further in the local cultivation of seed potatoes for farmers who grow for the flakes factory. kilogram net bags and 2 kilogram small packages. They export the exclusive 2 kilogram packages of table potatoes under their own brand name to St. Petersburg. ‘The traders in Russia know where to find the Belarusian growers. In Russia, potatoes from Belarus are a premium product for which they pay 2 dollars for a bag of 2 kilograms of perfect table potatoes’, reveals Radevich. ‘We’re also ready to take the step to deliver to the supermarkets our own country. However, there’s still not enough demand in Belarus’, the entrepreneur points out. A visit to the supermarket does indeed give an impression of loose potatoes or simple net bags, but not yet the exclusive packaging that Radevich sells. Lease depends on sales price Normally, Radevich starts planting on 20 April and harvesting on 21 August. To satisfy his customers, he can store his table potatoes until the end of May. This means that he is not on the market for three months. This year, he expects an average yield of around 40 tons per hectare, compared with 50 tons last year. Since all the land belongs to the government, Radevich must lease his land. For this, he pays 2 percent of the sales price of his potatoes. Looking to the future, the entrepreneur wants to specialise further in the local cultivation of seed potatoes for farmers who grow for the flakes factory. He also wants to introduce new varieties to further optimise the delivery to the flakes factory and the small packaging station. ● Jaap Delleman Modern mechanisation is necessary if you want to grow 2,000 hectares of potatoes. Potato World 2018 • number 4 35 Pagina 34

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