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Mriya Agro Holding goes full speed ahead for sowing campaign and brings in innovations

Mriya Agro Holding recently arranged a press visit to Kreminna in Khmelnytskyi oblast to demonstrate the progress of the sowing campaign at the Podillya cluster and publicise some of the innovations currently being introduced by the company. This year Mriya started sowing a week earlier than planned and intends to work 85,400 hectares for spring crops and 55,000 hectares for winter crops. The priorities among the spring crops are sunflower, maize and soya, which will be sown on 32,000 hectares, 20,300 hectares and 17,000 hectares respectively. Mriya Agro Holding is also expanding its product range to include sugar beet, which it has not grown since the default and change of owners. It has now signed a contract with Radekhivskyi Sugar LLC, on whose behalf 3,500 hectares of Ternopil, Pidvolochysk and Husiatyn regions of Ternopil oblast will be sown with sugar beet.

‘Over 20,000 hectares have been sown so far,’ said Mriya Agro Holding production director Vladislav Tyutyunnik. ‘The main task now is working the soil, for which we have deployed 29 heavy tractors and tillage equipment. A further 27 drills are also in use, sowing sunflower, maize, barley and peas. We are continuing to sow sugar beet. Two thousand hectares are already sown and spraying is underway.’

Mriya continues to add to its fleet of machinery as part of an overall plan to invest $25m on new equipment. As well as new machines, Mriya Agro Holdings is introducing innovations to the production process itself. Last year it demonstrated the use of quadcopter drones. This year it presented a new project, the Agronomist’s Tablet. From this season onwards all of Mriya’s agronomists, who number around 80, will use a device which is connected to a common data system with software written by Mriya’s own specialists.

‘Before, when agronomists needed to send correct, up-to-date information from the fields they had to use the postal service or the telephone and make a manual record in their notebooks,’ said Mriya Agro Holding chief operating officer Andriy Hryhorov. ‘Now, agronomists going out to a particular field carry a device—which by the way works offline and does not rely on an internet connection—containing all the information about the field: how many hectares it is, and what crops are growing there now and were grown there before. So they have all its past history: the processes carried out on the field, the chemicals used, the quantities applied and so on. A secondary function is field monitoring: all agronomists can make notes in respect of each field directly onto their tablet, adding comments or photographs, making yield forecasts or recording any other information of interest. So we have a tool which will make it possible to resolve problems quickly, send machinery where it needs to go and control processes in the company as closely as possible.

The programme can also display all the company’s fields with shareholder and land registry numbers so that any agronomist can see which plots are leased and which are not. The programme has integrated GPS so that all the agronomists who are on the Internet can see where the machinery is located and where it is working.

Mriya Agro Holding plans to refine the Agronomist’s Tablet project and abandon paper-based recording in the field altogether. Applying information technology in this area will cut the time wasted in data transmission and improve the quality and timeliness of information. It will also become possible to update field maps, that is, amend the maps themselves and also change work schedules or ongoing works.