Israeli technology to enable Rostov group supply farmed fish all year round

June 18, 2007 09:29

At its fish farm JSC ZAO Kazachka Rostov-based AGROKOM Group has started implementation of the Israeli technology aimed at increasing the output of live marketable fish 2.5-fold, according to Gorod N.

Kazachka will start cultivating trout in 2009 and it is supposed to become a competitor to Adler trout farms based in the south of Russia near Sochi resort area. The project will need overall investments of RUR180 million in the form of a bank loan within the framework of the national project of Agriculture Development. The latter means that the bank loan interest in the amount of the roll-over rate (currently 10.2%) will be financed from the federal and local budgets. The term of the project's payback is 7 years.

Now Kazachka raises and sells fish stocking material and marketable fish such as carp, amur, silver carp, Pacific mullet and sturgeons. Another sphere of business is recreational fishery in ponds occupying 210 ha. The total area of the company's ponds is 1000 ha and the output of farmed fish of marketable size amounts to 1000 tonnes per year. The output is sold in 30 supermarkets and 7 marketplaces of Rostov and the surrounding region.

The new technology worth RUR130 million has been purchased from the Israeli company S.A.S. Instruments, Researches and Developments Ltd. Its application is scheduled to start in June 2007 and to end in 2009. The technology provides for refurbishment of the production facility in order to improve the management process with the help of new methods of feeding, fish calibration and water oxygenation. According to AGROKOM's general director Sergey Bortsov, the new technology is also aimed at solving the core problem of aquaculture - its seasonality. More specifically, the traditional technology practiced in Russia provides for sales of live fish only in late autumn, winter and early spring, while the new technology will both increase the output and provide all-the-year-round supplies to all distribution channels.

According to the company's own calculations, refurbishment of its farm will increase the share of Kazachka on the regional market from 20% to 40% and its turnover will grow three-fold to RUR120 million per year. Along with the rise of production output the company is planning to expand the sales geography. The firm's plans provide for a five-fold growth of supply of live fish farmed by Kazachka in Rostov retail network due to the all-year-round schedule and a rise of trade outlets. Moreover, Kazachka is going to move beyond the regional market and one of the first steps in this trend is to purchase a distribution pond for live fish near Moscow. The pond will cover the needs of Moscow, Saint Petersburg and neighbouring cities. The company plans to increase its sales in other parts of Russia to 20%.

Sergey Bortsov says that the group has been doing a market study and, according to provisional figures, the demand for the product on the Rostov market exceeds the supply two-fold. In the first 2-3 years the company is planning to produce 20-30 tonnes of trout per year. However, the local market consumes much more fish, he says. Some Rostov supermarkets offer live trout farmed by Adler farmers and this is quite a challenge taking into account that trout is a very delicate fish needing a special temperature regime and up to 10% of trout will perish during its transportation from farm to shop.

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