KSG Agro, a prominent Ukrainian pig company, has launched a partner programme under which it offers weaners and consultancy services to help farmers across the country get back on their feet or scale up operations.
The programme has already attracted dozens of medium-sized and large pig producers in 15 Ukrainian regions, Sergey Kasyanov, chairman of KSG Agro, told local publication European Truth. Under the offered partnership, with a minimum length of 1.5 years, the company provides weaners and consultative support in terms of fattening, feeding and farm management.
Ukraine has unique opportunities to ramp up pork production, Kasyanov stated. “On the outside, in the first place, in European markets, pork production has substantially gone up in price. Owing to a high concentration of pig farms, ecology issues come up, including ASF. In the background of price hikes on the feed market and labour force shortage, some companies have to curtail operations.”
On the other hand, the Ukrainian pig farmers saw domestic feedstuff prices plummeting, stemming from the general oversupply in the grain market. “Today, due to the blockade of ports, on the domestic market, we witness an excess of cheap crops, which can and should be converted into protein of animal origin, obtaining a product with greater added value,” said Kasyanov.
Breeding pigs could be a way out for farmers who are having a difficult time selling their grain. Kasyanov: “When purchasing piglets for growing, Ukrainian farmers are not just converting grain into pork. They make their business more diversified and sustainable. This is strategically very important in conditions of war and general uncertainty.”
In light of the grain farmers’ current predicament, the profitability of pig farming can be exceptionally high, especially when compared with crop production, Kasyanov said, adding that KSG Agro also sees rising activity on the commercial piglet market.
“But the effect of the launched partnership programme goes far beyond the business result. Agricultural companies increase the number of jobs, expand production capabilities, pay more taxes, saturate the market with high-quality domestic products, compensating for the capacities that were shut down in the front-line and occupied territories. All this together forms the food system security and makes our society more resilient to external threats.”