Israeli tech for farms in Russia’s Far East

A new agricultural center will open near Vladivostok. Source: Dmitry Feoktistov / TASS

A new agricultural center will open near Vladivostok. Source: Dmitry Feoktistov / TASS

Aiming to boost farm produce and improve storage facilities through innovative measures, farms across Russia including the Far East will use Israeli technologies. The first of 15 new agricultural centres using Israeli technology will open near Vladivostok.

Israeli technology will be used at a new agricultural centre to be set up near the city of Vladivostok, Primorye Governor Vladimir Miklushevsky said on November 13. The Primorye Administration and Biotecmarket, a Russian-Israeli company signed the agreement to set up the centre during the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok in September. This will be the first of 15 agricultural products wholesale and distribution centres in Russia to use Israeli technology.

Working principles

Around 60 percent of the space at the centre will be taken up by specially equipped storage facilities for vegetables, fruit, potatoes, meat, fish and other products, Miklushevsky said, adding that the produce would be procured from local farmers.

“We really liked the Israeli technology and were able to include the Primorye Territory on the list of places, where such centres would be set up,” Miklushevsky said. Using this technology would also help increase the area’s production of grain, vegetables, meat, dairy and other food products, and improve storage facilities.

Governor Vladimir Miklushevsky taking a tour around one of the farms in Primorye. Source: Press photo

Close to 400 people will be employed in logistics and service jobs by the centre. A single payment network will be established for all transactions, keeping out “shady deals” which, according to the Agriculture Ministry, still make up at least 20 percent of transactions in the Russian market. “Currently we don't have a top-level wholesale system: producers are forced to collaborate with intermediaries, the products go through middlemen before coming to the final user,” Sergei Sidorenko, project director and Primorye Deputy Governor said. The new scheme would bypass redundant links in the chain, he added.

The agreement with Biotecmarket will also give the Primorye Territory an opportunity to build a center for transplanting cattle embryos. “It is expensive to import highly productive breeding cows from afar and this technology will help us get 10-20 calves from one elite cow and thus greatly reduce the costs of breeding the herds,” Miklushevsky said.

A single network

An interregional network of such centers is being created in Russia on the initiative of the Agriculture Ministry and their use will reduce the costs of food products by 15 to 25 percent. These centers will provide the necessary storage volumes and conditions, as well as guarantee quality control. The Agriculture Ministry expects the network to increase the income of agro-businesses by 30 to 50 percent, thanks to the guaranteed long-term storage of the products.

The Primorye Administration is aiming to increase the region's gross production of agricultural and food products by one and half times by 2018. For this, the authorities are offering local producers substantial benefits. If companies invest more than 50 million rubles ($763,000), their income and property taxes will be waived for a stipulated period.

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