Pavel Malkov, Acting Governor of Ryazan oblast, was given a warm welcome at the operation of EkoNiva Group, the largest milk producing holding in Russia, on July 21. He toured the farm and discussed the company’s growth prospects in the region with Stefan Duerr, EkoNiva Group President.
EkoNiva is represented in Ryazan oblast by OKA MOLOKO subsidiary. The enterprise, whose core business is dairy and crop production, has been operating in the region since 2017. OKA MOLOKO comprises seven operations in six districts of Ryazan oblast: Chuchkovo, Pitelino, Shatsk, Sarayi, Sasovo and Aleksandro-Nevskiy districts. The company has 101,500 ha of land, runs three modern free-stall dairies and one mega-dairy, produces over 400 tonnes of raw milk per day having the herd of approx. 25,000 head with dairy cows making half of it. The enterprise grows spring and winter wheat, sunflower, soya beans, rapeseed, as well as corn for silage, snaplage and grain. This year, the enterprise has sown over 800 ha with spring and winter wheat for seeds to be harvested in 2022.
Over the five years of operation, EkoNiva Group has invested more than 10 billion roubles in the region’s economy and created more than 1,500 jobs. The salary level at OKA MOLOKO is 13% higher than the regional average.
During the visit to Shatsk district, the acting Governor took a tour of Shatsk dairy facility equipped with two 72-stall rotaries. It is one of the largest farms in Russia housing 6,000 head of milking herd and 7,800 head of young stock. The facility launched in 2019 cost 4.6 billion roubles.
Nowadays, the daily output of the farm reaches 190 tonnes of raw milk. The enterprise provides jobs for 240 residents of several districts in the region.
After the tour, Pavel Malkov and Stefan Duerr, EkoNiva Group President, discussed the issues of the enterprise and the Group in general. The current task is to ensure enough top-quality fodder for the herd next season. The farm is now doing the second cut of forage crops. In total it has harvested more than 67,000 tonnes of alfalfa haylage and annual grasses from 9,500 hectares. The cereal harvesting is scheduled to start in late July.
‘Ryazan oblast is one of the key regions for EkoNiva, therefore the Group will continue the development of core and new businesses here. The top priorities are seed growing and plant breeding. As a leading producer of field crop seeds, EkoNiva sees great opportunities in this area due to the need to ramp up the national food security to supply the farmers with quality seed material. Such a strategy allows Russia to strengthen its position as a supplier of such crops as lentils in Middle Eastern markets, whose key providers have traditionally been Western countries.
Moreover, the Group will continue increasing the production of raw milk in the region by optimising business processes and improving herd management. The employees are EkoNiva's main resource, so we intend to invest heavily in creating comfortable conditions for our staff to keep working and living in the rural area’, summarises Stefan Duerr, EkoNiva Group President.