Representatives of the Legislative Assembly of the federal state of Baden-Wuerttemberg headed by Peter Hauk, Minister of Rural Affairs and Consumer Protection of Baden-Wuerttemberg paid a visit to Voronezh oblast. The group of honored guests included Beate Krieg, Head of Union of Rural Women of Baden-Wuerttemberg, Reinhold Pix, elected official of the Green Party faction of the Legislative Assembly of Baden-Wuerttemberg, Werner Raepple, President of the Central Association of Agricultural Enterprises of Baden, Udo Stein, elected official of the Alternative for Germany faction of the Legislative Assembly of Baden-Wuerttemberg, entrepreneurs and representatives public and governmental organisations of the region.
A tour of EkoNiva’s modern dairies and a round-table discussion with the leaders and the representatives of the regional governmental offices were the highlights of the visit.
The guests had an opportunity to see the highest level of dairy production organisation in Voronezh oblast achieved with the support of the local authorities. The delegates visited EkoNiva’s dairies in Verkhniy Ikorets and Zaluzhnoye villages and learned about the state-of-the-art technologies allowing the company to keep such a large herd and manage it with maximum efficiency. The guests tasted fresh dairy products from the Academy of Dairy Sciences and after visited the unique Museum of Milk – the only one in Russia.
A round-table discussion was held in Shchuchye village, Liski district. On behalf of the regional government, the discussion was joined by Viktor Logvinov, Acting Deputy Chairman of Voronezh Oblast Government, Nikolay Gaponenko, Chairman of the Committee on Agricultural Policy of Voronezh Oblast Duma, Aleksandr Rybenko, Deputy Chairman of the Committee of Voronezh Oblast Duma for Local Self-Government, Public and Mass Media Relations, Anatoliy Balbekov, Head of Bobrov Municipal District Administration, Igor Kirnos, Deputy Head of Liski District Administration, Head of the Department of Programmes and Development of Rural Areas, Lyudmila Ippolitova, Chairwoman of the Committee on Labour and Social Protection of Voronezh Oblast Duma.
The round table discussion was dedicated to the expansion of further cooperation and experience exchange between Voronezh oblast and the federal state of Baden-Wuerttemberg. Besides, the participants dwelled upon the prospects for the development of partnership and cooperation at the level of the legislative and executive power in order to implement joint projects in agriculture.
‘This is our first visit to Voronezh on behalf of the federal state of Baden-Wuerttemberg’, says Peter Hauk, Head of the group. ‘Although we have already heard about your success in agriculture from our colleagues from other federal states of Germany, we are greatly impressed by the results achieved by Stefan Duerr, and the general development of the agricultural sector in your region.’
According to Peter Hauk, the success of farming enterprises is an indicator of a favorable investment climate in Voronezh oblast and the readiness of the government for dialogue and cooperation in the development of the agricultural sector with the involvement of the best European practices.
Viktor Logvinov, Acting Deputy Chairman of Voronezh Oblast Government, emphasised that Voronezh oblast is the first in Russia in terms milk production expansion: the annual growth rate varies between 7-10%. This is facilitated by a balanced system of governemntal support of farming enterprises. It is planned to increase the annual milk production volume in the region to 1 million tonnes by 2020. Today, EkoNiva is the leading milk producer in Voronezh oblast (33% of the total volume in the regional market).
Based upon the agreements reached during the meeting, the parties prepared the Memorandum of Cooperation, pursuant to which Voronezh oblast and the federal state Baden-Wuerttemberg committed to encourage cooperation in the agricultural and educational sectors, including student exchange programmes and specialist training.
‘Stefan Duerr's experience proves that the words will be followed by actions’, sums up Peter Hauk. ‘I am convinced that together we will reach considerable results.’
By Alexander KUTISHCHEV