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Jaunmārupē atklāj jaunu lapu salātu siltumnīcu

Lettuce try Latvian winter salad

Only special greenhouses can grow vegetables in Latvian winters. So far, only tomatoes and cucumbers were grown in the Mārupe Greenhouses but on Wednesday, January 17, the company unveiled a lettuce greenhouse. The first greens had already been harvested, Latvian Television reported.

The new greenhouse is seven thousand square meters wide and comes with LED lighting. The investment was 4 million euros.

“Lettuce, if we grow it here, we can get it to the consumer very quickly, that would be a benefit, because currently Lithuania and Estonia are growing it, no one is growing it in Latvia all year round,” said Maruta Kravale, Chair of the Board of the LLC “Mārupe Greenhouses”.

The amount expected to be produced in the greenhouse is 2 million lettuce plants per year.

The first lettuce leaves have been harvested. The greenhouse was completed late last year and the first seeds were planted in early December.

Vegetable prices have fallen slightly in the past three years, says Jānis Bušs, chairman of the board of the Baltic Vegetables Co-operative Society. But as of this year, fruit and vegetables were subject to a 12% VAT rate instead of the previous 5% rate.

“We worked very, very, very desperately with politicians last year, tried to convince them that it wasn't a good idea. Unfortunately, the rate has been increased. Well, the first days, you can say, this year is gone and it's not immediately seen and felt by everyone,” Bušs said.

The lettuce greenhouse took six months to complete. Its total cost was €3.8 million, of which one and a half million came from the European Agricultural Fund.

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