A delegation from the Ministry of Agriculture of the Tatarstan Republic has paid a call on EkoNiva's production facilities located in Kursk and Voronezh oblasts. The working visit was aimed at getting acquainted with the company’s work experience in seed breeding and production, milk processing and dairy manufacture.
In Zashchitnoye, Kursk oblast, the honoured guests came over to the seed production centre – observed the operation of processing lines and stopped by the laboratory and finished product warehouses.
‘EkoNiva kindles our interest in its activities’, stresses Marat Zyabbarov, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture of the Tatarstan Republic. ‘For a long time, we wanted to see everything with our own eyes and adopt the best practices, especially in seed breeding and production. Plans are afoot to create a similar centre in our Republic, and we do know Ekoniva has what to share.’
The technical capacity of Zashchitnoye farm allows for annual seed production of up to 140,000 tonnes and, at the same time, controlled storage of 100,000 tonnes. Moreover, up to 500 tonnes per day – seven seed varieties – can be sorted out at once on different lines. The daily dispatch on the farm amounts to 700-1000 tonnes. Among EkoNiva's breeding achievements are the cultivars included in the State Register: winter wheat is represented by Cepheus, EN Taygeta and EN Albireo, while soya bean – by EN Argenta. Several more varieties bred in-house are under state certification now.
‘The scale of EkoNiva’s seed production is impressive’, stresses Linar Zakirov, Head of Bugulma Municipal District of the Tatarstan Republic, Mayor of Bugulma city. ‘However, its breeding programme is also at a very high level! I would say that visiting EkoNiva is a learning experience for us and I hope that in our Republic, the company will also prosper. We are very pleased that such a big and promising investor has come to our region.’
As a result of the meeting, it was agreed that collaborative work on seed breeding and production would get under way in Tatarstan: joint variety trials, discussion of special educational programmes for training the relevant personnel and provision of the favourable regulatory environment.
‘Our partnership with Tatarstan is gaining momentum: the client base is expanding’, explains Yuriy Vasyukov, Regional Director of Zashchitnoye. ‘More and more farms of the Republic buy our seeds. However, the cooperation in the scientific sphere, which we have agreed on today, is even more important. At the first stage, our breeding material – soya bean, spring wheat and spring barley – will be tested in the Tatar fields already in this agricultural season. In the coming autumn, we are planning to do the same with winter wheat.’
After visiting Zashchitnoye, the delegation headed for Voronezh oblast. There, the main destination points were Dobrino farm designed for 2,800 dairy cows and a cheese-making plant in Shchuchye. At the dairy, the high-level officials were introduced to modern dairy farming and EkoNivaAgro in general – its history, production achievements and future prospects. As for the cheesery, the Tatar guests were among the first who managed to see the facility processing 60 tonnes of milk per day. The product line-up will include various hard and semi-hard cheeses. As early as February, EkoNiva’s customers will be able to appreciate the high quality of the dairy made from natural milk. Soon, the cheeses will hit the store shelves of federal and regional retail chains and the company’s branded shops.
By Tatyana IGNATENKO