New Slovenian facility will double countries greenhouse acreage

Staff
3 Min Read

Prekmurje, a region in the north-east of Slovenia, will become the location of the country’s largest greenhouse vegetable production complex, thanks to an estimated €80 million investment. The project, named GreenGardens, plans to build greenhouses on a 22-hectare plot, which will enable the use of renewable energy. This plot can hold 15 hectares of greenhouses, which is comparable to the area of all existing and operational greenhouses in Slovenia. 5 hectares will be used for a high-tech lettuce greenhouse, and another 10 hectares are available for lease.

The zone will be developed in phases, with the goal of starting production in 2026, according to Matej Bandelj and Gregor Počivavšek, who are behind the project and plan to start their own lettuce facility, GreenGardens, here. With backgrounds in real estate development and IT farming, they are using their expertise to delve further into the greenhouse industry. They are supported by Boštjan Bandelj, one of the wealthiest Slovenian citizens and the owner of Belektron, a specialized carbon emissions allowance trading company, who bought the land through the company Skrinja BB at an auction in August last year. The three of them will jointly own the company that will manage the GreenGardens Dobrovnik zone.

They will first arrange the entire zone, equipping it with high-tech equipment, and then establish an independent company for the production of salad plants, which will also be the tenant of the greenhouses.

Doubling the self-sufficiency in salads
Matej and Gregor explained last month that high-tech sustainable production could increase Slovenia’s self-sufficiency in certain types of vegetable production by multiples of 10%. Official statistics estimated a self-sufficiency rate for lettuce of 25% until 2023, which could reach 53% with their production of teen leaf lettuce.

Gregor explained that the greenhouses will produce year-round and will be fully automated and hands-free, for which they chose to work with Dutch experts. “Due to cultivation in a controlled environment, the crops will be able to thrive even outside the natural growing season, and they will be guaranteed optimal conditions in terms of heat, moisture, light, and nutrients,” said Matej.

The project is designed to maximize the use of renewable energy sources the location offers. Matej added, “We will achieve this through the joint use of geothermal and solar energy, a constant temperature of low groundwater, and solutions of modern and technologically advanced greenhouses.”

The municipality where the project will be realized is on the border with Hungary and is already home to the greenhouses of orchid producer OceanOrchids. They welcomed the investment and the jobs it will create, estimated at 100 to 150.

For more information:
Green Gardens Dobrovnik
https://www.greengardensdobrovnik.eu/

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