Working by the rules
As RG was informed in the regional government, the average yield of Amur soybeans this year amounted to 18.8 centners per hectare, which is 2.2 centners higher than in 2021. Governor Vasily Orlov believes that the region can achieve such results every year.
– They were achieved, first of all, by the observance of all the necessary agrotechnical rules when growing soybeans, the correct selection of seed varieties, the application of mineral fertilizers, plant protection products.
The flood, which has already become almost traditional for the Amur region, bypassed the fields in 2022 and did not have a significant impact on the work of farmers. And the high rate of renewal of agricultural machinery taken in recent years makes it possible, as Sergey Adamenko, First Deputy Head of the Amur Ministry of Agriculture, explained, to harvest crops in the best agrotechnical terms and with minimal losses.
The Ministry of Agriculture emphasized that the imposed sanctions in most cases also did not affect the cultivation of soybeans. Amur agrarians, by purchasing in advance seeds, fertilizers, fuels and lubricants and spare parts for agricultural machinery, to some extent secured themselves against unforeseen circumstances.
Nevertheless, the department noted that prices for plant protection products rose in the spring, since their cost directly depended on the exchange rate of the ruble against the dollar and the euro.
Gone are the days when the Amur region exported soybeans. Now the region is interested in their processing, as well as in deliveries to the domestic and international markets. The region plans to increase its own capacities and attract investors who could build new enterprises on its territory.
It is in the Amur region that the only production of soy isolate in Russia is located. It is located at the Amursky oil extraction plant in the Belogorsk ASEZ. By the way, in 2022, they plan to produce about five thousand tons of isolate here – twice as much as last year. According to the company, further volumes will only grow.
– Behind a difficult year. In connection with the difficult foreign policy situation, a lot has changed in our work. Comrades, friends, colleagues were drafted into the Armed Forces and left for a special operation, – said Alexander Sarapkin, General Director of the AmuragroCentre Group of Companies, Project Manager of the Amursky Oil Extraction Plant. – We are proud of them, we wish them well, health and hope that they will soon return to our ranks. In connection with the sanctions, the markets have changed very seriously – both in the sale of our products and in the provision of production. These are new challenges that have really had a major impact on the work. I am confident that the team will successfully cope with great tasks in these new difficult conditions.
In 2023, the construction of a soybean deep processing plant will begin in the Amur Region. It will be built by the Sodruzhestvo Group of Companies.
– We offer to build within the framework of the TOP. This guarantees benefits and state support. There are two territories to choose from: “Belogorsk” and “Priamurskaya”. The project is large-scale, so I will personally accompany it, – Governor Vasily Orlov assured.
The volume of exports of soybean oil since the beginning of the year increased by 2.5 times compared to the same period in 2021 and amounted to almost 30 thousand tons
According to him, at the moment, the total processing capacity in the region is about 450,000 tons of soybeans per year.
There are also several “medium” projects. When all enterprises are built and put into operation, the Amur region will be able to fulfill the task – to process 70 percent of soybeans into a finished product on its territory.
– The higher the value added, the more taxes and jobs there will be, – the head of the region said, adding that an increased share of deep processing will give the region independence from foreign markets.
Not only China
China remains the main external partner buying Amur soybean and its products. It accounts for 97 percent of all exports.
– In recent years, the supply structure has been changing towards processed products, that is, the export of value-added products is growing, – said Sergey Adamenko. – For example, the volume of exports of soybean oil since the beginning of the year has increased by 2.5 times compared to the same period in 2021 and amounted to almost 30 thousand tons. Sending soybeans abroad has slightly decreased, but by the end of 2022 it may reach the level of last year.
Infographics “RG” / Rafael Zaripov
Producers of the Amur Region are constantly looking for new importers. And the number of the latter is growing, despite the difficult times. Products are in demand not only in China, among partners there are about ten countries. 20 thousand liters of soybean oil from the Amur region will be sent to South Korea by the end of the year. This was agreed upon by the Russian company SOYA ANK and the South Korean Jawon Co., Ltd.
“South Korea is one of the priority areas of work for us,” said Stepan Inyutochkin, CEO of the Target Agro group of companies (which includes SOYA ANK). – We are already exporting edible soybean oil for powdered baby food. Two years ago we started supplying soybeans for tofu production. Now we are sending a trial batch of 20 thousand liters of bottled oil for sale in South Korean retail chains. In the future, we plan to increase the volume of deliveries to 100,000 liters per month.
By the way
There is a scientific base behind the success of soybean farmers. It is in the Amur region that the All-Russian Research Institute of soy is based. The varieties created here are widely used in the Amur fields. In early October, at the 24th All-Russian Agro-Industrial Exhibition “Golden Autumn-2022” in Kubinka near Moscow, the research institute was awarded diplomas and a gold medal for the Apis soybean variety, and a silver medal for the Gray variety.