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A major player in the agribusiness industry of Ukraine - Privat-Agroholding

Privat-Agroholding was established in 2005. The goal of the holding was to bring together agricultural enterprises and work out a common strategy for successful growth in the agribusiness industry. Irina Mikhailovna Ivashchenko, the general director of the holding, shared many interesting facts which underlie the company’s success in an interview with Manufacturing Journal. 

Historical background
“The company exists since 2005. We have been on the market for 7 years now. Looking back, one of the most important things to do and at the same time one of the most challenging was to bring together different companies which were functioning separately and were not always successful. It was difficult to establish a unified system of production, introduce new production technologies and establish working relations between the member companies. Despite all the difficulties we managed to establish a strong team,” explained the general director. Today Privat-Agroholding consists of 25 operating companies which are located in all regions of Ukraine. The total land bank of the holding amounts to 120 thousand hectares of land. The enterprises of Privat-Agroholding engage in crop production and livestock farming. At the moment many of the companies are leading producers in the regions where they are located. They show the best results in terms of milk yield, weight gain and crop yield.

Effective use of modern production technologies
Privat-Agroholding achieved success and outstanding production results due to implementation of production technologies that allow to maintain optimal conditions of the soil. The company constantly studies the features of its agricultural land, as well as weather and climate conditions of the regions where it operates. The holding has its own laboratory which conducts all the necessary measurements in order to monitor the balance of micro and macro elements as well as pH balance of the soil. Fertilizers are applied only in case of shortages of these elements. In order to maintain high productivity of the soil Privat-Agroholding implements a crop rotation system which allows to keep the fields under continuous production and reduces the need for artificial fertilization of the soil. The system of protection of plants from pests and diseases is based on constant monitoring of the ecosystem. The application of any substances is carried out only after a detailed study and full justification of use according to the principles of economic thresholds. The company made a full transition to the use of highly effective kinds of mineral fertilizers such as ammonia water, CAS, anhydrous ammonia. The effects of fertilization are further enhanced by means of efficient application of fertilizers which is performed at the same time as tillage. The company constantly expands its seed farming activities by exploring promising varieties and hybrids of grain and industrial crops, increasing the area of production for super elite crops and participants in hybridization. Privat-AgrocenterLLC, the management company of the holding, cooperates with world famous brands dedicated to developing higher yielding seeds such as DeKalb, FAC, Pioneer, Syngenta and others. In order to enable the best use of technology and to coordinate the work in a timely manner the company is using GPS based systems and technologies around the clock. The systems help to solve any unusual situations efficiently and to prevent occurrences of irreversible processes in production technologies. The company explores different modern technologies in order to increase production and improve its technological processes further. One of the project that helps Privat-Agroholding to implement further improvements is called the online field. It is an innovative solution which allows to monitor in real-time what kind of production technologies are used and what kind of decisions are made by the agronomists in terms of plant protection and other technological aspects. What is more important the online field technology allows to immediately evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of these decisions, their impact on the interim, and the end result. Privat-Agroholding constantly studies the best practices of leading companies around the world and introduces promising ideas into its production activities. All enterprises of the holding are equipped with modern tools and motor vehicles (Case, John Deere and different American and European vehicles). The availability of modern equipment guarantees high quality timely implementation of the planned works within a clear time frame. The company is striving to provide the same equipment for all member enterprises. It is done in order to facilitate maintenance activities and to realize the company’s energy-saving strategy. 

Focus on livestock farming 
At present Privat-Agroholding includes seven livestock enterprises located in Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Poltava, Mykolayiv and Odessa regions. Main activities of the enterprises include dairy farming and beef cattle farming. Dairy farming is considered to be the most important area of development for the livestock sector of the holding. Five enterprises of the holding are engaged in dairy farming. The breeding stock is represented by three strains of cattle: Ukrainian red-and-white milk, Holstein and Simmental. Two enterprises have the status of breeding plants for growing Simmental and Ukrainian Red-and-White strains of cows. The total number of cattle is over 10000 heads, this includes 5500 of the main herd. The average milk yield is 5500 kilograms of milk per cow, with the average fat content of 3,7%. Selection and breeding activities are regularly conducted at the breeding plants of the company. The aim of these activities is to increase productivity of dairy cattle and to improve the quality of milk. In order to improves the abovementioned characteristics genetic material from Canadian selection is used. Forage production program in 2013 will focus on silage and hay type of feeding in order to reduce costs and minimize the use of grain feeds. Meat production segment is represented by four pig breeding farms. The total number of pigs is about 10000 heads, represented by such breeds as Large White, Landrace, and Duroc with improved meat quality. Average daily weight gain for the herd is 490 grams. In 2013 the company is planning to continue working on improving the genetic potential of the herd in terms of productivity. This can be achieved by breeding with boars of ultra meat capacity as well as by enhancing selection activities.

Strategic potential and the team
In the opinion of Irina Mikhailovna Ivashchenko, the strategic potential of the company lies in the efficient use of available resources. “Based on the experience of our colleagues in Europe and USA we still have a lot to do in order to achieve the kind of yield results that they show. However, we have all the resources to do so and I believe that in time we will achieve similar production capacities,” stated Irina Mikhailovna. At the moment the company employs over 4000 people, about 100 people work in the management company of the holding. The general director is very proud of her team and she believes that people are of the utmost importance for the company. “You can update the technologies and equipment, but it is much more important to invest in people. Ukraine has an outstanding agricultural potential and in order to take advantage of this potential it is crucial to involve the people. Although agriculture is to some extent marginalized, it is essential to attract people to this sector. It can be done by providing good working conditions, good pay and opportunities for personal and professional development,” stated the general director. 

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