A branch office of EkoNiva-Semena has opened in one of the most remote regions of this country — Blagoveshchensk, Amur oblast. High-quality seeds from domestic and foreign plant breeding institutions have become more accessible to the local farmers.
‘We regard this region as very promising’, says Evgeniy Kucheryavenko, Deputy Executive Director of EkoNiva-Semena. The issue of diversification of agriculture in the region is a really pressing one. The expansion of cereal crop production in order to improve the crop rotation might be a good solution.
The current lifting of the ban for Russian wheat import by the PRC and active development of foreign economic relations with China and Southeast Asian countries make it even more important. For example, the mammoth Chinese market of wheat alone is estimated at 1 billion dollars.
‘EkoNiva offers a wide product range’, continues Evgeniy Kucheryavenko, ‘including the seeds of soybeans, spring wheat, barley, oats, maize, annual and perennial forage grasses.’
Growing of such promising crop as maize is currently very important to the region since the Hectare in the far East programme has enhanced the development of livestock farming. In this context, maize with its high protein and starch content becomes indispensable.
However, soy is still the main crop in the Far East. Currently, EkoNiva offers six varieties of this crop. The early-maturing variety Prudence stands out due to its rapid moisture release, resistance to diseases and lodging as well as pod shattering.
‘Our region specialises in soybean producton’, says Vadim Semykin, Sales Manager of the Far East branch office of EkoNiva-Semena. ‘The farmers have been growing soybeans for a long time, supplying it to the international market, China in particular.’
Prior to being offered to potential customers, the seeds undergo trials at the state variety testing plot and in AgroCentre BASF in Amur oblast. In the coming months, the latter will also become a platform for training seminars and field days enabling farmers to see the wide range of seeds available, receive consulting on production technologies and have their questions answered.
By Tatyana IGNATENKO