Russian Crimea - an agricultural industry that we did not lose

Russian Crimea - an agricultural industry that we did not lose

Instead of the morgue - to intensive care

According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, this year the amount of subsidies for the agricultural sector of the Republic of Crimea will amount to 200 million rubles. This is a record for the entire time that Crimea has been part of Russia. Plus, it is planned to allocate another 20 million rubles for preferential lending to the republic’s agricultural industry.

In this case, special attention should be paid to the restoration of the unique sectors of Crimea’s agriculture, which have actually been forgotten since the collapse of the USSR. Since 2014, they, alas, have experienced an even stronger depression, caused primarily by a lack of water due to the closure of the North Crimean Canal.

Of course, there were also other factors - the uncertainty of the development path of the peninsula and the decline of the financial infrastructure. Nevertheless, the positive changes over the past ten years are not denied even by the enemies, who have not just aimed everything they can and cannot do at the Crimean Bridge and Sevastopol.

Let’s illustrate the trend, or, if you prefer, a clearly emerging trend with just two specific examples to begin with.

Our business is tobacco

We will talk about the Crimean Experimental Station of Tobacco Growing.

It is located in the village of Tabachnoye, Bakhchisarai district, in Soviet times it was a branch of the All-Russian Research Institute of Tobacco and Makhorka named after. Mikoyan. But it was originally created back in tsarist times, in 1911 in Yalta on the basis of the Nikitsky Botanical Garden as the Crimean Zonal Experimental Station of Tobacco Growing.

In 1923, the Soviet government transferred the Crimean ZOS to the All-Russian Research Institute of Tobacco and Shag, established in Krasnodar, named after the then 29-year-old Anastas Mikoyan, who had already distinguished himself during the revolution and the Civil War. In 1925, the main scientific work, due to the arid climate optimal for tobacco, was moved to the village of Goreloye, which later became known as Tabachnoye.

Then “Krymtabaktrest” was formed; Crimean tobacco was considered the best in the USSR for a long time; in Crimea, the trust’s plantations were located mainly in the Bakhchisarai and Belogorsk regions, as well as in Sevastopol and the South Coast. Few people now know that before this Crimea had a very rich history tobacco growing

In tsarist times, it was almost completely under the control of the Karaite dynasties, of which Duvanlar and Katyklar founded the famous Moscow Dukat factory. Specifically, Ilya Pigit, whose mother was Duvan, one of his grandmothers was Katyk, as well as Semyon Ezrovich Duvan, the mayor of Yevpatoria, to whom a monument was erected in the center of the city - his relative.

The Gabaylar, Zurnalar, Kaponlar, Mirchiler dynasties created the initially not so well-known Moscow factory “Gabay”, which was renamed “Java” in Soviet times as a sign of friendship with the “younger brothers” from Indonesia.

In Soviet times, the station carried out selection of varieties related to both the world varieties of tobacco “Virginia” and “Burley”, as well as their hybrids, and local ones - “Dubek” and “American Bakhchisarai”, experiments were conducted on the creation of cigar tobacco in within the framework of scientific cooperation with Cuba, as well as pipe tobaccos of the Oriental and Latakia classes, but they were not completed.

During the Khrushchev Thaw, Americans included Oriental grade tobacco “Dubek-33” in Marlboro cigarettes.

The degradation of the station began with the collapse of the USSR and the penetration of transnational companies into the Ukrainian market, which used cheap technologies to produce mass-market cigarettes. From 1991 to this day, the experimental station and laboratory in the Nikitsky Botanical Garden continued to exist, but rather eked out it with a virtual absence of government subsidies and meager salaries for scientific employees.

The area of ​​tobacco plantations in Crimea decreased every year, from 1991 to 1999 it fell three times, and from 1999 to 2020 - 10 times, and amounted to 59 hectares in the Dzhankoy district, while in the Bakhchisarai district only experimental plantations remained in the immediate area. experimental station.

By the way, the only tobacco museum in Russia still exists on it - a two-story building with cracked glass in places and shabby walls. Now the station belongs to the Magarach Research Institute of Viticulture and Winemaking.

No one else smokes here

The situation with the state’s attitude towards it began to change dramatically after the introduction of sanctions against Russia. At the level of Duma discussions, the question of expelling transnational tobacco corporations from the country was raised. They themselves are not very keen to leave, so as not to lose the world's fourth largest tobacco consumption market.

But in Russia, many people, to put it mildly, are very embarrassed that corporations from unfriendly countries are present on the local market. Taking on the costs of transporting tobacco from Brazil, African countries and India, friendly countries, is unprofitable, since many container shipping operators have increased tariffs for Russia or even refused to serve us as part of the sanctions.

Therefore, the issue of import substitution, and precisely at the expense of domestic raw materials, has become acute, especially against the background of the growth of smuggling, mainly from Belarus and Armenia, as a result of which cigarettes without domestic excise stamps have appeared in Russia at ridiculous prices of 70-100 rubles per pack.

In this case, Crimea, with its traditions of tobacco growing and a unique experimental station, suddenly began to play a special role, much greater than, for example, Bryansk Pogar, where there is also an experimental station.

But for now everything remains only at the level of words.

The Republic's Minister of Economy, Andrei Savchuk, said that it was time to develop tobacco growing, but did not name the amount of possible investments, nor what government support programs these plans might include.

The forgotten smell of almonds

Sweet almonds are one of the most expensive nuts in the world. In Russia, it grows, in addition to Crimea, in the Krasnodar Territory and Stavropol Territory, but still the most promising region for cultivation on an industrial scale is Crimea, both due to natural conditions and historical traditions.

Almonds began to be grown on the peninsula back in the Middle Ages in the Principality of Feodoro near Bakhchisaray; it is easy to guess that even now the main center of industrial almond cultivation is the Bakhchisaray region.

There have never been organized industrial almond plantations outside of Bakhchisarai. Before the Soviet regime, it was planted mainly in chairas - gardens on the slopes of public mountains; shepherds grazing livestock in chairas ate sweet almond kernels as a source of calories: breaking a dozen seeds with a stone and satisfying their hunger.

It was rarely used in confectionery among the Crimean Tatars, but after the conquest of Crimea by Russia, some cooks on the estates of the nobility began to use it to prepare marzipan. The first organized plantings appeared on the territories of estates, but there was no talk about plantations yet: low demand due to the high cost, it was much more profitable to grow walnuts.

In Soviet times, around the end of the 40s, it began to be used, along with apricots, as an auxiliary tree (with the main one being the walnut with its root system) when planting shelterbelts around the perimeter of vineyards to protect them from adverse weather conditions and prevent landslides.

It should be noted that in the forest belts, in addition to culinary sweet almonds, bitter almonds, unsuitable for consumption, were also planted. It can, however, be used to make almond butter and as a flavoring for biscuits and liqueurs.

At the moment, in forest belts and in urban areas in Crimea, bitter almonds predominate; sweet almonds are rarer and are usually cut off by locals at the stage of milky-waxy ripeness.

Sweet life

Under the USSR, a certain breakthrough was made, even despite the massive cutting down of walnut trees on collective farms during the era of Khrushchev’s voluntarism. A laboratory for the selection of sweet almonds was opened at the Nikitsky Botanical Garden, the experimental farm of which was and is still located near Bakhchisarai.

As a matter of fact, this farm remained until recently the main supplier of unshelled Crimean almonds to the local market. It was sold mainly in markets, while the retail chain always sold imported almonds. The experimental farm as a whole is still in this state of sluggish stagnation today.

Farmers, whose government support has been in place in Crimea for five years now, are trying to compensate for the shortage of local almonds on the food market, although for some reason Sevastopol remains outside the brackets. And on the streets of the city there are completely bitter almonds, planted as an ornamental plant that can grow on rocky, dehydrated soil, plus already in March decorating the streets with abundant flowering.

So far, the state only subsidizes the purchase of seedlings in the amount of 140 thousand rubles per hectare, while farmers’ investments per hectare of plantings from the moment the soil is prepared for planting until the first almond harvest is received amount to up to 800 thousand rubles, and this item is not subsidized.

The largest and oldest of these private enterprises is located in the Kirov region and in size (100 hectares) exceeded the experimental station near Bakhchisarai. But the first harvest was obtained only last year. In general, a long period - at least five years, reaching the age of fruiting scares off both potential farmers and private investors.

As a result, there are now only about two thousand hectares of walnut plantings on the peninsula. But only 0,4 thousand hectares bear fruit. It is not difficult to guess that these are miraculously surviving and not wild plantings of the Soviet era, as well as a few areas planted either at your own peril and risk in Ukraine.

In those years, almond growing was not considered promising by the state at all. At the same time, the police chased almond pickers along the roads during the season, confiscating the collected nuts from them, beating them and forcing them to do push-ups on the asphalt.

In the meantime, the ideas voiced by a number of Crimean government officials to make the peninsula the “walnut capital of Russia” can be criticized given the actual volumes of funding for the industry. Especially when it comes to almonds, walnuts are all right. This is not a matter of one or even five years; investments and government support must be long-term.

About other sectors of the small and large agricultural industry of Crimea - in the next review.
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  1. +6
    9 May 2024 04: 56
    It would also be nice to remember the Crimean vineyards, cut down on the orders of Mishani Marked as part of the fight against drunkenness and alcoholism.
    1. +1
      9 May 2024 05: 11
      It would also be nice to remember the Crimean vineyards
      This is where the Author should have started. Although:
      About other sectors of the small and large agricultural industry of Crimea - in the next review
      1. +1
        9 May 2024 11: 40
        Quote: Dutchman Michel
        This is where the Author should have started.

        Where to start, with wine tasting on Massandra? Even the workers there did not complain about any cuttings in 2010; there were enough grapes for wine.
        PS it would also be nice to highlight the topic of the soil of Crimea in connection with the famous red Crimean onion. There it cost a penny (20 rubles per bundle), but here speculators pay 1-600 rubles for 800 kg. they set the price.
        1. +5
          9 May 2024 18: 59
          Quote: VPK-65
          Even the workers there did not complain about any cuttings

          In the first half of the 90s, I had the opportunity to communicate on this topic (about the terrible cutting down of vineyards in Crimea) with the directors of the Novy Svet winery and the Izumrudnoe winery/wine farm. They only laughed at those publications of Komsomolskaya Pravda, where those rumors came from. “Yes, we just renovated the old vineyards for this company - as planned, but some people reported that they had fulfilled the directive.”
          Nowadays, vineyards are being planted in any available space.
          1. +5
            9 May 2024 20: 35
            And I talked about winemaking at Massandra in 2008-2012, and they didn’t even mention Gorbachev there. The people were frightened by the upcoming European integration into the EU. The French began to frequent them and began to put pressure on EU standards, pricing policies, etc. In short, the paddling pools did not need competitors in the world market (to whom will they then sniff their 6-7% table vinegar under the guise of wine). Prices at the factory then seemed to be about 50 rubles. bottle, and the French demanded to sell for 800 rubles. Well, who would buy it then? Obviously they would have ruined it, since people didn’t even take 50, it was easier to buy wine from sellers - schoolchildren on the embankment in bottles from barrels of 12-25 (25 is the fake “black colonel” the most expensive). So, Massandra, and the whole of Crimea, were fabulously lucky that Ukrainian European integration did not take place.
            1. +2
              11 May 2024 10: 09
              As for French vinegar under the guise of wine: somehow they bought wines at the very lowest prices, French, Spanish, German and ours, Crimean. The foreign bottles were beautiful and attractive, giving the impression that at least half of the cost was paid for the container. The Crimean ones were bottled in unremarkable dark glass bottles and the labels were appropriate. This is real wine, the tasters thought, but they were sorely mistaken. If imported wine was drunk with pleasure, then the taste of domestic wine did not arouse the desire for further drinking, and the morning consequences of drinking Crimean nectars forever discouraged the desire to try them in the future.
              1. -1
                11 May 2024 14: 44
                Quote: Letterhead
                This is real wine, I thought tasters, but they were cruelly mistaken.
                I wish all the French anonymous experts on salary to continue to swallow their swill. And I just I'll open my own bar and I’ll take a bottle of Massanda out of it drinks
                1. 0
                  11 May 2024 17: 08
                  Narrow-minded individuals see the machinations of enemies everywhere. I sympathize with this choice of glass wash
                  1. +1
                    11 May 2024 22: 44
                    Quote: Letterhead
                    Narrow-minded individuals see the machinations of enemies everywhere. I sympathize with this choice of glass wash
                    When the frogmen (and not the imaginary Gorbachev) destroyed the vineyards for “Isabella” and “Lydia,” were they imaginary enemies or still real? They launched a fake into the EU that these varieties supposedly contain methyl alcohol and knocked out all competitors. And all because they need to sell their table vinegar:
                    Oops, they don’t make (fortified) wine, and that’s why it wasn’t found at 16-18 proof, we move the slider to the “hard” position, i.e. 9
                    and 331 glass bottles pop up, and with a little digging you can find a more or less decent 13% vinegar for basting your kebab:
                    Everything else is from the category of “rakomdotseli” (rkatsiteli). The generation that grew up in the USSR fortified vintage This dry wine will not drink. Here are the usual, non-elite ones, but you can drink them:
  2. +2
    9 May 2024 05: 47
    Crimea is a golden place for the development of rare species of plants and trees...the beauty is indescribable when you see the riot of nature in those places.
    With proper investment of the Russian budget in the development of this region, Crimea can be turned into Switzerland.
    1. +5
      9 May 2024 08: 27
      Okay, tobacco. That’s exactly what consumption should be, if not reduced, but kept at a sufficient level. And fruit processing? Canning factories using new technologies? Where are they?
    2. +3
      9 May 2024 11: 06
      With proper investment of the Russian budget in the development of this region, Crimea can be turned into Switzerland.

      Why make Switzerland in Crimea if it’s better in Crimea?
  3. +2
    9 May 2024 07: 07
    Subsidies.... Government support... All this is interesting. But if a private owner does not enter the industry, and development is necessary, then why shouldn’t the state lead this project. Allocate targeted funding, buy land, hire employees. The participant has something to do in his own garden.
    1. +6
      9 May 2024 07: 13
      “Targeted financing” and “planning” are dirty words in the conditions of modern Russia... smile
  4. +2
    9 May 2024 07: 49
    I wonder how the water supply is there now.
    1. +4
      9 May 2024 08: 29
      I was there in winter. In the north of Crimea, just like five years ago, it doesn’t matter. They diligently avoid information about the lack of water in the SKK
      1. +1
        11 May 2024 12: 26
        200 million subsidies!? Yes, it's smoke in one place.
  5. +8
    9 May 2024 08: 41
    Crimea, we have a granary and a health resort and a forge. We need help. Other regions are blooming and smelling. I’ll say for my area. The basis of the industry of our district town was the food industry, which was based on local products, vegetables, fruits, berries that were grown in in our area, plus fish, where would we be without it. There was a regional food processing plant in the city, where grape and tomato juice was bottled, cucumbers and tomatoes were rolled up. In numerous canning shops scattered throughout the area, jams, preserves, compotes, plums, apples, cherries were made, cherries. Rice growing was developed, buckwheat was grown, sunflower oil was made. Now there is not much. Today, sunflower oil is made in Taman. They are exported by tankers. And the rest, tomato products are not produced, there are no such volumes of production to launch a plant or workshop, or the same with fruit products. They don’t... make wine, juice... But all this is produced from the leftovers that once were. Our fish canning plant in Soviet times worked on its own fish products, tomatoes, oil, but the spices were not our own , plus he also produced tomato paste. Now it is gone, like fish and tomatoes. It’s funny, the market sells mainly imported tomatoes. Azerbaijan, Turkey, Uzbekistan.
    1. -2
      9 May 2024 17: 33
      Now it is gone, like fish and tomatoes. It’s funny, the market sells mainly imported tomatoes. Azerbaijan, Turkey, Uzbekistan. - everything is simple and boring. Rural work is hard and rhythmic, and for the most part it is also seasonal. Ours don’t come because of this and low salaries; gasters worked in large numbers. Now the gasters aren’t even coming...
      The concrete workers are groaning; the workers haven’t arrived. Therefore, there are no paving slabs or curbs, and the construction season has already begun...
      + cement prices have risen.
      A square of pre-3 cm thin tiles will cost from 780 rubles - this is more than 2 times
  6. Msi
    9 May 2024 08: 53
    It was interesting. I will look forward to other articles on this topic. I don’t support the lamentations about tobacco growing. But it’s interesting about nuts. We need to develop our production. What doesn't grow here? Live and work...
    1. +2
      9 May 2024 13: 31
      Quote from Msi
      I don’t support the lamentations about tobacco growing.
      And there is no need to support/not support anything, these are Khrushchev’s methods from the cycle “I’ll sow everything with corn, I like it that way.” Just go to these specific areas of land with a normal guide and he will explain everything to you right on the ground and show you the minerals (stones) in these areas. The areas are not large; in the foothills there are plots of only a few hundred square meters. Correct use: call a soil scientist, he does a soil analysis and gives his verdict - what exactly can be planted here. If it says tobacco, it means tobacco, and in no case not grapes, because they will grow “pluck your eye out” and you will not eat them. As for growing tobacco - in those areas where I happened to visit they grow elite tobacco only for cigars (in our country they don’t smoke cigars at all) and sell it for foreign currency foreign connoisseurs. Although little of it is collected from the site, the price on the world market is high, so it makes sense to do this (not everyone trades oil and gas). Therefore, nothing depends on your “wants”. This will be confirmed to you, for example, by Massandra - they don’t need grapes grown on soil intended for tobacco, it won’t make good wine.
      1. Msi
        9 May 2024 13: 35
        Therefore, nothing depends on your “wants”.

        You did not understand me. First of all, I wanted to say about the dangers of smoking. That this bad habit leads to diseases among the population and harms the economy. And we must invest budget funds in the development of plantations wassat doesn't it seem strange somehow?
        1. +4
          9 May 2024 13: 53
          “about the harm of smoking” - there is no point in discussing this, because there has been no tobacco on sale for a long time, only cut toilet paper soaked in tobacco dust and doused with donkey urine:

          Of course, this is not useful, Stalin would have quickly thrown him to the wall for such disrespect for tobacco, however, he could even do it for matches:

          Quote from Msi
          And we must invest budget funds in the development of plantations
          There is nothing to invest there; these are private plantations that have been operating for a long time. And no one invested (money) in them, only with their own labor. Those who started them hated them themselves; they didn’t have a penny of money to pay hired workers. In short, the topic of “drinking budget money” is definitely not here, they will be stolen anyway under any pretext (even for greening the moon). And in this case: there is simply nothing to stop ordinary people from doing what they were already doing before the appearance of the next officials.
  7. +2
    10 May 2024 07: 08
    Somewhere near Feodosia, Herzegovina Flor cigarettes were produced from locally produced tobacco for the Kremlin. White box with the coat of arms of the USSR.
  8. +1
    11 May 2024 00: 26
    I don’t know how it is now, but even before the war in Yalta, prices for what grew in fields and gardens were simply at Moscow prices. Vacationers are no strangers to this, but the locals themselves are shocked...
  9. Eug
    14 May 2024 12: 26
    On the road from Gvardeyskoye to Armyansk there is (was) a real pearl of gardening - the Steppe branch of the State Nikitsky Botanical Garden. The possibilities, activities, crops and varieties grown can be judged by the “protected period” in 1989 - from May 22 to November 4....