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Good prospects from Ukrainian orchards (Ukraine)

Good prospects from Ukrainian orchards <i>(Ukraine)</i>

Today, horticulture is one of the most promising sectors of the Ukrainian economy, as the increasing number of horticultural farms these last years proves it. One of them is the "Ukrainian Orchard" company, founded in 2012 near Kiev. Thanks to the use of the modernest technologies and the international experience on the horticultural field, the farm keeps growing. The first apple harvest exceeded all expectations. We asked Vladimir Davidenko, agronomist, a few questions on the reasons of such a success as well as on the future of orchards.

Since the automation has a significant influence on the cost price of the products, how automated are the production processes on this farm?

- We are trying to automatize our work as much as possible. By the way, we are employing 15 persons, 5 of whom are technicians. For the harvest, we are hiring seasonal workers. We currently do not have many machines: only two Kubota mini-tractors, which we are using to apply pesticides and fungicides, as well as a Fendt tractor to treat the areas between trees with herbicides. We also own a big Deutz-Fahr tractor to which we hitch a Joskin Tetra-Cap trailer. It is very useful to us during the harvest period: we can put 12 to 14 boxes of 300 kg of apples in it to transport them, which allows us to save many resources. If we have to transport something, e.g. organic fertilizer that we spread before planting the orchard, this trailer is very useful. Furthermore, it is very manoeuvrable and provides additional traction, which is very important because given our grounds are very clayey, it is difficult to drive on them as it is raining. We also use it as platform trailer: workers stand on it to install bamboo supports or anti-hail nets. As you can see it, we use it in a very various and rational way. We even rented it to our neighbours to transport their grains because since its body is grain tight, grains won't flow out of it.