16 Apr 2024 14:15

EkoNiva to increase sugar beet sowing area to 8,700 ha in 2024

MOSCOW. April 16 (Interfax) - The EkoNiva agricultural holding, which grows sugar beets in the Kursk and Voronezh regions, plans to sow crops on 8,700 hectares this year versus 7,500 hectares in 2023.

The sowing area in the Kursk region will increase to 3,900 hectares from 2,700 hectares last year. In the Voronezh region, the sowing area will remain at 4,800 hectares, a company press release said.

EkoNiva specialists forecast that in the Kursk region, where the sowing campaign began almost two weeks earlier than planned, 215,000 tonnes of sugar beets will be harvested this year. "This season, mid-April in the region, there is a high temperature background and no precipitation in the forecast, so the sowing of beets is done as quickly as possible. We plan to complete it by April 20," the press release says.

The beets will be processed at the agricultural holding's sugar factory in the Kursk region. Using the company's own crop as well as beets purchased from local growers, the facility could reach its full capacity and process about 240,000-250,000 tonnes versus 179,300 tonnes the previous year.

The Belsakhar sugar factory has been part of the EkoNiva Group of Companies since 2018. The facility has recently been modernized, which makes it possible to process up to 2,050 tonnes of sugar beets and produce an average of 300 tonnes of sugar per day.

The company's press service, citing the facility's Managing Director, Boris Tereshenko, said that sugar beet processing is planned to start at the end of August. The plant is currently undergoing equipment overhauls and software updates.

In addition, a pulp-drying complex and a press granulator are planned for installation in the near future.

The group supplies the sugar beet harvest from its Voronezh fields to its business partners, a press release said.

GC EkoNiva is a vertically integrated holding company, and the largest producer of raw milk in Russia. It was founded in 1994 by entrepreneur Stefan Duerr. It manages assets in 13 Russian regions: Voronezh, Kaluga, Kursk, Leningrad, Moscow, Novosibirsk, Orenburg, Ryazan, Samara and Tyumen regions, as well as in the Altai Territory, Bashkortostan and Tatarstan. The group's main dairy division consists of 40 modern livestock complexes. EkoNiva produced 1.26 million tonnes of raw milk in 2023. The company has been processing milk since 2013. It operates four processing plants.

In addition, the group's enterprises are engaged in pedigree and beef cattle breeding, seed production, crop production and organic agriculture. The holding is one of the five largest owners of agricultural land in Russia with 630,000 hectares.