We will introduce the Khmelnitskyi Oblast to the west from the capital by approximately 250km.
Khmelnitsky is the name of the 17th century Kozak leader and the hero of Ukraine – Bohdan Khmelnytsky.
The main purpose of coming to Khmelnitskyi is to visit Svarog that engages in large-scale farming. We received explanation about their current businesses, technologies and issues in the conference room of Svarog office. In addition, we visited a computer room, laboratories, and greenhouse.
Svarog company currently has 80,000 hectares, 4500 employees, and do agricultural business such as crop farming, livestock farming, and horticulture etc. 80,000 ha might be difficult to imagine for Japanese people, but might be helpful if we say about 2.5 times of Nagoya city. The main crops are soybean, wheat, and beet to produce sugar. In particular, soybean is focused on the production of non-genetically modified (Non-GMO) soybeans.
In addition, they also grow Spelt that has been attracting attention from the interest in health or as a measure to wheat allergy.
Svarog that engages in large-scale farming creates huge amount of biofuels every year. Among them, the joint venture project of biomass power generation utilizing the straw was introduced this time.
Variety of researches are made in the laboratory for agricultural product productivity improvement, profit increase or safety management etc.
For safety management, they evaluate the contamination of GMO (genetically modified), heavy metals, pesticide residues, radioactive or biological contaminations.
In addition, it seems they quite focus on organic cultivation.
Honey production and export are introduced as key issues that Svarog wan to focus on in future. Ukraine is the world’s third largest honey-producing countries, and has been exporting 36,000 tons per year. However, the majority of them are produces by households and not made quality control by professionals. The price of honey is low. And export volume to Japan is small at the moment. (Japan imports honey mainly from China.)
They hope to expand exports to Japan along with the strict quality management, and add values such as acacia or sunflower honey.
In the computer room, information management of the farm had been made.
Since GPS are mounted on all tractors, the company can know where all the tractors are working.
And, they calculate how the best way moving tractors to cultivate and harvest effectively with fewer fuel consumption, then they give drivers the instructions.
They place cameras, thermometers or other sensors at various places in the farm. They gather measurements to take advantage of the information and work to improvement for quality control and harvest increase.
We went to the greenhouse farm of Svarog. They have visited greenhouse in Japan and made it by referring Japan’s greenhouse. According to their explanation, they could make it at a cost of one-fifth of Japan. Cucumbers and lettuces had been made there.
We could meet Professor Dr. Svitlana Karvan who is the head of Laboratory of Complex Research of Minerals in Khmelnitsky National University.
She gave us documents regarding Saponite that are expected to be reserves 100 million tons in Khmelnitsky region.
Saponite is available as adsorbent for purification treatment of drinking and industrial waste water, and for the cleaning of food and soil from heavy metals or radionuclide.
According to the document, the Laboratory conducted experiments to increase the octane number of the gasoline, application experiments of sewage treatment, purification experiment of the water from the oil and organic matter by taking advantage of Saponite.