Dmitry Samofalov, a young farmer from Romny, Summy Region, Ukraine

PANTHEON Farming Referral Farmers from Ukraine

We asked several Ukrainian fruit growers what kind of management tools they are using for their daily business decisions and what tools might make their business more profitable.

1. Dmitry Samofalov, a young farmer from Romny, Summy Region, Ukraine

“Regarding FMIS: for several seasons I was searching, actually I was dreaming for such a solution!”

Dmitry Samofalov is a young farmer from Romny, Summy Region, Ukraine. Upon graduating from university a couple of years ago he and his friends started their own orchard business. “Four of us, all friends, aged 26 started a pilot strawberry project on an area of half a hectare, presenting our business plan to an uncle, who was our first investor. Since then, thanks to our hard work and dedication, the farm has grown.”

The farm cultivates 35 ha of various berries and also has its own nursery to sell not only fresh produce but seedlings of strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, and raspberry cultivars to other farmers in the region.

“Our need at the moment is data management. If you ask me about self-cost and profitability, I have no numbers to show you. The challenge for us today is that the bigger we grow, the more we realize the importance of ordered record keeping and data management. At the moment I keep records and do calculations partly in Excel and partly on paper. It becomes harder to track all the expenses and daily tasks, it is also quite time consuming to follow workers’ performance during the harvest or to find the information about pesticide quantities used last season.”

Founders of the berry farm in Romny, Ukraine

“At the end of the day we business owners just want to know whether we our business is successful and which part of the business needs more attention. Regarding FMIS: for several seasons I was searching, actually I was dreaming for such a solution! We count that PANTHEON Farming will help us finally shift our business to a new level and use the full potential of our field data. I believe together with FMIS all of us will get more free time and more satisfaction from work as the data will be easy to keep and analyze.”

2. Grenvis LLC, orchard in Vinnitsa region, Ukraine

“IT systems are no longer a luxury but a basic need that is just another part of the business.”

Vadim Grebenyuk, director of Grenvis LLC, an orchard located in Vinnitsa region explained: “Our highest priority is managing seasonal workers who come to pick fruit. We are tired and confused from paper records and we count on the fact that barcodes for individual boxes and electronic management will reduce the chaos during harvest. In especially busy times we have about 300 people harvesting. Wee need to track the performance of each of them.”

3. Lana farm, Zaporizha region, Ukraine

“I feel a lack of prompting and reliable weather analytics.”

farm_lanaAlexey Vereschaga, a professional agronomist at the Lana farm in Zaporizha region, cultivating a 200 ha orchard:
“We have an iMetos station, and key weather data are recorded on daily basis. What I do when I have enough data to analyze, I use an old fashioned method – calculating the sum of temperatures, solar energy and humidity manually. Those factors help me determine how soon and when exactly danger will appear. It would be nice if there was a system that calculates those parameters automatically and shows me an alarm or dashboard, when the critical threshold is coming. Such a solution would really make my job easier. At the moment, while I am talking to you, I am examining some mildew under the microscope to estimate whether there is anything to worry about. I missed the moment when it appeared on the leaves and I am afraid it might damage the flowers, so we lose a big percentage of the future harvest.”

Alexey added that PANTHEON Farming is definitely a tool that will assist him to customize and automate disease modelling in his orchard.

4. Brusvyana Nursery, fruit and berry, Ukraine

“Fruit growers should keep in mind that we are no longer competing on our local market but on the global one.”

liliana_dmitrievaWe asked Liliana Dmitrieva, director of Brusvyana Nursery, a successful fruit and berry business, to comment on whether Ukrianian fruit growers are prepared to implement innovative management solutions both mentally and financially.

“Ukrainians are a very smart and fast learning nation. I believe when FMIS is successfully implemented on several farms, other orchards would also adopt the technology more quickly when they see the effect. Fruit growers should keep in mind that we are no longer competing on the Ukrainian market but on the global one. This means that the more successful processes and cost management the business has, the more control over quality it gets. The rule of the global market is simple – better quality means higher income.”

Liliana highlighted that the sector is lacking professionals to support and spread innovative technologies.

“We wish to buy a weather station, but where to get a professional who could read the data in the right way and apply the findings daily in the orchard? We first need to reform agricultural education in Ukraine and make it more practical. Only when we have highly qualified people on the market can we say that the technology will spread.”

Field day at Brusvyana Nursery
Field day at Brusvyana Nursery

As a matter of fact, PANTHEON Farming was implemented into the study process of three Ukrainian agricultural universities, and Datalab Agro Ukraine would be happy to collaborate with Ms. Liliana Dmitrieva to make agricultural education in Ukraine more modern and business-oriented.

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