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20 years of excellence

Press-centre / News,

Zashchitnoye, a plant breeding and seed growing company of EkoNiva Group, has celebrated its 20th anniversary. The event gathered over 300 employees and guests. Stefan Dürr, Group President, congratulated the colleagues on this occasion.

The highlight of the event was honouring employees working for the company from day one. Thirty old-timers have made a significant contribution to the enterprise development. The company also paid tribute to retired specialists. They heard a lot of warm words from the Group management that day. Numerous honourees come from the whole dynasties working for the enterprise. Apart from heartfelt congratulations and wishes, the employees received certificates of commendation, gifts and watched a show programme.

‘Zashchitnoye is the heart of plant breeding and premium seed-growing in our company, the industry leader in the country and the consolidation of enormous experience and expertise of our specialists’, says Stefan Dürr, EkoNiva Group President.

Sergey Starodubtsev, Deputy Governor of Kursk oblast, has also arrived to congratulate the enterprise. He thanked the team for excellent performance and assured it of overall support by the oblast government.

‘Zashchitnoye can always rely on the oblast administration. We will continue supporting projects aimed at developing the regional farming sector, ramping up agricultural production, supplying the regional market with food’, said Sergey Starodubtsev.

The latest genetics, cutting-edge agronomic practices, state-of-the-art equipment and qualified personnel are the four underlying components ensuring excellence of Zashchitnoye in the industry. It all started back in 2002 with 2,000 ha of land and only five cereal varieties.

‘The whole industry was in havoc suffering lack of competent personnel and equipment. It certainly took time to handle all the issues. Nevertheless, today our team consists of seasoned professionals – hard to find anywhere else’, says with pride Yuriy Vasyukov, EkoNiva-APK Holding Regional Director for Kursk oblast.

Today, Zashchitnoye operates on overall area of 38,500 ha in Shchigry and Solntsevo districts. The farm produces 5 commercial varieties with a high genetic potential. The yield of cereals and pulses averages 5.3 t/ha. The farm features several seed handling facilities, sophisticated storage equipment designed for 117,000 tonnes of bulk grain and finished goods warehouses that can accommodate up to 12,000 tonnes of seeds in big bags at a time. In 2021, the enterprise produced over 78,000 tonnes of seeds including over 10,000 tonnes for EkoNiva Group’s own needs.

Zashchitnoye runs in-house winter wheat and soya bean breeding programmes. The State Register of Plant Breeding Achievements Approved for Use already includes three varieties of soya bean and five varieties of highly adaptive wheat bred by the company. The enterprise is also launching chickpea, lentil, spring wheat and spring fodder barley breeding programmes.

The operation employs over 500 people and pays substantially higher salaries than the average across the region.

At the event, a lot of time was devoted to further plans, which are sure to be implemented. At the solemn finale, the employees together with their children released white doves into the sky as a symbol of peace everybody hopes for as all other challenges the company can meet with its experience and expertise.