By the time of the collapse of the USSR, flax production had fallen almost four times compared to 1913, from 267 thousand to 71 thousand tons per year. And throughout the 90s, this decline continued in a logical way. Thus, by the beginning of the new century, flax production in Russia had already fallen seven times.
In 2013, 39 thousand tons of flax were harvested in Russia. At the same time, the production area from the Non-Chernozem region shifted to Siberia, the Volga region and the south of the country.
According to Rosstat, the acreage of flax in farms of all categories of the Russian Federation amounted to 47.5 thousand hectares in 2017. The gross harvest of flax in 2017 amounted to 39 thousand tons.
The State Program for the development of Agriculture and regulation of agricultural products, raw materials and food markets for 2013-2020 provides for an increase in the gross flax fiber harvest to 51.5 thousand tons per year by 2020. To solve this problem, it is necessary, on the one hand, to expand flax crops by increasing their concentration to 11-14% of the arable land area, mainly in the northwestern and central parts of the Non-Chernozem zone of Russia, on the other hand, to increase the yield and quality of flax products by transferring the industry to an innovative development path. These are technical re-equipment and technological modernization of enterprises of the flax subcomplex of the agro-industrial complex, the introduction of modern varieties of flax, breakthrough technologies for cultivation, harvesting and processing of flax raw materials, including deep processing. At the same time, it is important to ensure the closure of the technological cycle of the "field" of the finished product, which will increase the profitability of crop production from 15 to 50% or more.
To date, there have been investors willing to invest in the processing of raw materials. There are all prerequisites for the revival of flax growing, in particular, the growth of world prices for cotton and the global trend for natural fabrics.
At the beginning of 2018, Governor of the Smolensk regionAlexey Ostrovsky held a working meeting with the founder of the French holding company Dehondt Technologies Developement Guillaume Deont. The parties discussed prospects for cooperation in the field of agriculture, as well as the possibility of implementing an investment project for the production of flax harvesting equipment in the Smolensk region. During the meeting, it was noted that the activities of Dehondt Technologies Developement are focused more on improving the methods of obtaining long flax fiber, which is one of the promising directions for the development of the linen complex of the Smolensk region. However, today the region is experiencing a shortage of specialized agricultural machinery and service centers that provide its maintenance and technological support. Mr. Deont confirmed his willingness to cooperate in this area.
In February 2018, Belarus proposed to Russian colleagues a joint project in the field of flax production and processing.We are talking about the creation of a flax cluster, which could include the Orsha Flax Mill from Belarus.
The company "Russian Flax" – division «Textiles»agro-industrial holding «Promagro» (one of the largest pork producers in nbsp;Chernozem region) in May plans to begin construction of a flax mill on the site of the industrial park «Safonovo» in the Smolensk region. It will include a flax mill with a mechanical cotonization shop, which will be able to process 10 thousand tons of flax (flax scrap steamed under pressure), and a spinning mill with a capacity of up to 3.5 thousand tons of flax yarn per year. The cost of the project is about 2 billion rubles, the first stage is expected to be implemented in 2018 and 2020. When reaching full capacity, the plant will become one of the largest flax processing enterprises in the country. In addition, it will be the first flax plant built in Russia in the last 30 years.
To be continued
Text: Svetlana Michan