GROWING ALMONDS AS A BUSINESS IDEA FOR A SOUGHT-AFTER PRODUCT
The almond kernel contains proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins A, B, C, E and E and trace elements (preferably potassium), as well as minerals useful for the body such as iron, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus and potassium. Inshell almonds have a long shelf life, do not lose their beneficial properties and taste even 10 years after harvest. This is their benchmark advantage over other nuts that require storage conditions for such a long period.
Over the past few years, the level of demand (approximately 2.2 times) for almonds has increased significantly in all countries of the world. After all, almond nuts are actively used in the confectionery industry, cooking, pharmaceuticals and cosmetology. Almond milk, almond flour and various almond oils are produced from almonds, which are used for liqueurs, various cocktails, in “confectionery”, etc. Therefore, the business of growing these fertile plants can be very promising. Frost-resistant almond varieties (such as Stepnoy Mediator) can withstand up to -40 ° C, thanks to such indicators, they can be grown not only in the southern regions.
NUT PRICES ALMONDS AND A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF THE WORLD MARKET IN GENERAL
The main producer of almonds is the USA, California. Its share is 82% of world production, followed by Australia with 6%. Therefore, the almond nut will always be so expensive. Within $ 3 per 1 kg. The main importer of almonds in Europe is Germany.
The demand for almonds, as well as for all nuts, is growing every year all over the world, especially in the EU countries.
Graph of retail consumption of almonds per capita in grams per year:
In fact, inshell almonds can be used as an asset for a medium-term investment. It keeps well and grows in value every year.
BENEFITS OF GROWING ALMONDS AS A BUSINESS IDEA
A basic calculation based on the following information will help to assess the profitability of a business idea for growing almonds:
- The first harvest from grafted trees is 2-3 years after planting (the maximum harvest falls on the 5th and 6th years). But a lot depends on the variety. For example, the variety Sovetsky Soft-shell bears fruit already in the 2nd year, in addition, this does not affect its maximum yield, which reaches 9.2 kg at 10 years of age.
- From 1 hectare, on average, it turns out from 800 kg. up to 1 ton of peeled kernels, however, cleaning requires certain material and time costs, so many entrepreneurs sell almonds in a shell. In 1 kg about 360 pcs. peeled fruits (honey agarics, it all depends on the varieties). This makes them easy to store and transport.
- The wholesale purchase price starts from $ 9 per kilogram of nuts and varies depending on the variety.
The benefits of almonds
The daily allowance for almonds is only a few kernels. It is the main source of potassium for our body. Almonds perfectly cleanse internal organs and improve brain activity. Useful properties of almonds:
- Promotes the acceleration of the healing process of patients with peptic ulcers, gastritis.
- A mixture of fruit kernels and glucose is indicated for people suffering from anemia, insomnia.
- Almonds help cleanse the respiratory tract, is a natural sedative and can be used as a mild laxative.
- Due to the content of trace elements and vitamins, almonds are indicated for consumption by people with diseases of the peripheral nervous system, blood vessels and heart muscle.
- Bitter almonds are especially beneficial due to their high content of essential oils, which have antispasmodic and anticonvulsant effects. Bitter is called for the presence of a large amount of hydrocyanic acid. The same acid is produced by neurons in the brain to increase the activity of NMDA receptors.
The calorie content of almonds is 645 kcal, which makes it a very nutritious product, often used as a general tonic.
YIELDING AND FROST-RESISTANT VARIETIES OF ALMONDS
Growing almonds is an easier and less costly way to run your own business than, for example, growing a vine. This is a fairly frost-resistant plant that can withstand winters with a minimum temperature of -25 ° C. And some frost-resistant varieties for the middle zone, up to -40 ° C. However, almonds of any variety are a light-loving tree, so it is more advisable to plant in regions with a warm and / or light climate. With proper care in such conditions, the yield can be up to 2.5 tons per hectare.
In order to compete in agribusiness, it is necessary to choose the most productive almond variety, taking into account the climatic conditions in which it will grow. Success in this business is highly dependent on 30% of the right variety. To correctly build a business development strategy, you should first of all familiarize yourself with the features of various varieties of almonds. Consider the main varieties of common almonds:
|Alushta almonds||Relatively low shrub that tolerates heat and drought well. The kernels are dense, sweet in taste, ripen early. Not capable of self-pollination.||40 kg from one bush.|
|Sevastopol almonds||Low bushes on which dense sweet fruits grow. Late grade. Pollinated by insects.||40 kg from one bush.|
|Victoria||A frost-resistant bush that bears fruits weighing 4-9 g. The first harvest is 4 years after planting.||40 kg and more from one bush.|
|Steppe||The growth of the bush is from 0.5 to 1.5 m. The flowers are bright, pink in color. Frost and drought resistant plant.||About 10 kg per bush.|
|Three-bladed||Bushes with pink flowers with 20 or more petals. Does not tolerate frost and dry weather.||It is mainly used for decorative purposes in landscape design.|
|Petiolate||The height of the tree is no more than 1 m. The leaves are elliptical. Distributed in the steppes of Buryatia.||From 20 kg per bush.|
The collection of almonds, depending on the variety, falls on different periods. Ripe fruits have a slightly cracked shell, from which you can easily extract the nut itself in the shell.
In nature, most of the almond varieties are not edible, but decorative. Don’t be fooled when choosing seedlings!
GROWING ALMONDS IN THE MIDDLE LANE
Since the first crop will be harvested 2 years later (depending on the variety) from the moment of planting, to create a business for growing almonds, you must have your own piece of land or purchase it on lease. The risks of investing in land lease may be unjustified.
Propagation of walnut trees:
- Planting seeds. This method does not allow preserving the varietal characteristics of the bush. Before planting (in early spring), the bones are placed in a container with sand for 20 days and stored at a temperature of 1 to 10 degrees.
- Grafting on bird cherry rootstocks with developed eyes. The rootstock cuttings are taken from an adult bush or sprout from a nut.
- Annual seedlings are the easiest way to achieve the first harvests 2-3 years after planting.
Requirements for almond agrotechnology:
- Disembarkation periods: autumn or spring. Almonds planted in the fall take on much better.
- Soil preparation. Two weeks before planting, it is necessary to dig holes with a diameter and depth of about 60 cm. The distance between the holes: from 3 to 4 m in a row and about 6 m between the rows. A drainage layer is laid in the grooves: sand, crushed stone or broken brick.
- Above the drainage layer, place a mixture of fertile soil, deciduous soil and sand (proportions 1: 3: 2), about 6 kg of manure and 0.5 kg of superphosphate. 0.2-0.3 kg of lime or dolomite flour is added to acidic soils.
- When disembarking, a support 0.5 m above the level of the land is installed in each hole. The root of each seedling should be dipped in a clay mash, then placed in a hole and sprinkled with sand and humus substrate. The root collar should be located 2 cm above the ground.
- After planting, each bush must be watered with 10-15 liters of water, tied to a support. When the liquid is absorbed, the trunk circle should be mulched with a 3-5 cm layer of dry earth or peat.
Almond Care and Harvesting:
- Watering should be carried out if the soil has dried out by 1-1.5 cm. For each bush, 10 to 15 liters are consumed. water for irrigation. Excessive moisture leads to decay of the root collar.
- In early May, plants need to be watered with an ammonia solution (20 g of ammonium nitrate per bucket of water). In autumn, 1 kg of manure, as well as solutions of potassium sulphide and superphosphate (20 g of each substance) are required to be added to the trunk circle.
- To prevent diseases, plants are treated with a solution of Bordeaux liquid in early spring (before buds appear) and at the end of autumn leaf fall.
- Harvesting is done when the shell of the walnut begins to crack.
- After harvesting, the nuts are freed from the green shell and dried so that they do not go rancid. For cleaning, you can use special devices – nutcrackers. Next, you need to sort the kernels by size, quality and integrity.
SALE OF ALMONDS
Almonds are used for making sweet foods. Therefore, problems with the sale of the harvest should not arise. First of all, sweet almonds are often purchased by the owners of confectionery factories.
Bitter varieties (usually late) are prized for their high content of essential oils, which are widely used in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.
Sweet almonds can be sold to the public at retail prices.
Growing almonds as a business idea is an excellent option for investments, the first income from which will come no earlier than in 2-3 years. This type of business does not require high start-up costs and unnecessary effort to care for trees that have a lifespan of 40 years or more. The first 2 years of work will pay dividends for several decades.