Igor Babayev: “Cherkizovo” to produce 5 times more pork in Penza region
Penza, 14 August 2015. PenzaNews. Igor Babayev, chairman of the Board of Directors of Cherkizovo Group, who earlier evaluated the results of Vasilyevskaya poultry farm modernization together with Ivan Belozertsev, acting governor of the Penza region, described in detail the company's investment program in the region.
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According to him, 16 years ago, when Cherkizovo decided to develop business in the Penza region, the state of the agricultural sector left much to be desired, but now the holding enterprises employ 5 thousand people, the turnover in the region is 60-70% of the regional, and it amounts to more than 24 billion rubles.
“Time does not stop, the change of power and the arrival of the new leader is a new rise, a new desire to create. I have known Ivan Alexandrovich [Belozertsev] for a long time, and I have always been surprised to notice when visiting the city, how Penza becomes prettier. This suggests that this leader has a distinct economic approach, and he implemented it across the city, being the chairman of the City Duma. Now Penza is a different city — well-maintained, beautiful. It is important for me that Ivan Alexandrovich knows the area. We have discussed some things and came to the conclusion that there is a mutual desire to give a renewed impetus to development. Today we are considering the Penza region as the one in the country, where we have a lot of unrealized potential,” chairman of the board of Cherkizovo. Group.
He added that the company has necessary land — more than 100 thousand ha, and production resources — pig farm with 100 thousand heads and meat processing plant.
“The entire industrial infrastructure is built. At the same time, today we are taking pigs from the Voronezh, Lipetsk, Tambov regions to the Penza meat processing plant. This is inefficient in terms of production. It is necessary to arrange production of the livestock in the max 100 km distance from the processing line. Therefore, we discussed [with Ivan Belozertsev] and came to the conclusion that in 4-5 years we can reach production of 500 thousand pigs in the Penza region. Of course, this can only be accomplished in the interaction and partnership between business and government,” Igor Babayev said, reminding that there are also all necessary resources to increase capacity for poultry production up to 140 thounsand tons per year.
He stressed that Cherkizovo is actively developing dairy sector in the Penza region.
“Our company has around 6 thousand milk cows. We see this sector as a favorite toy that pleases. Today, there is no large national-scale operator of milk production in the Penza region there. Today we have here 2,100 milk cows, and along with dry dairy cows — 4 thousand heads. We are interested in the development of the dairy sector,” Igor Babayev said, adding that one more project should be the cheese-making.
“Russia has never produced hard cheese — as supplied by Italy, France, Germany, — mainly because of the poor quality of the milk. I have been promoting the idea of family farms. All of Europe is 70% family mini-farms, since there milk obtains high qualitative characteristics, such as density, protein and others. Dairy mega-farms also have the right to live. But when it comes to cheese-making, the required quality of milk can only be achieved on a mini-farm. We have positive experience in the family mini-farm project in the Lipetsk and Tambov regions. Everything is working. And most importantly, the villager lives 30 meters from the farm. He is the master, and we are ready to lease out the land,” the chairman of Cherkizovo Group Board of Directors said.
He also reminded that in 2010, Vladimir Putin visited the dairy plant in the Tambov region, he was chairman of the Russian government at that time, and he appreciated the idea of the family mini-farm development, after this the company received government support and subsidies.
“Once the dairy business was very well set on the Penza land, and dairy cattle was a priority in comparison with other areas of agriculture. Unfortunately, over half of all livestock was killed then, and now it is time to restore everything, but not so much as a small-holding, as a family mini-farm,” Igor Babayev summed up.