Ukraine’s leading producer and exporter of biological products for use in nutrition, soil fertility and plant protection plans to expand into the EU market. The company is BTU-CENTER and its head of international sales, Dmytro Yakovenko, became a DLG member in 2019. He sells over 50 enzyme and microbial products from the company. These are currently used on a claimed 3 million hectares, although product approval for the EU market has not so far been given.
»Our sales of biological products continually increase«, he adds. »We have our sights on the European market. As a member of the International Biocontrol Manufacturers Association (IBMA) our company supports each initiative to make the EU biocontrol regulations more flexible for biological products.«
BTU-CENTER is a private company with its central office in the Kiev district of Ukraine. It was founded 21 years ago and is still owned and led by the Bolokhovsky family. It is in the top 25 % of the world’s producers in this sector, with own laboratories and production lines in the city of Ladyzhyn, Vinitsa region.
We produce microbial and enzyme-based products for plant protection and for enhancing plant nutrition and soil fertility. Major applications are in organic farming systems and where Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is practiced.
Part of our work is studying the mobilisation of nutrients in the soil and by improving this, increasing the efficiency of applied fertilisers.
Partnership with the DLG is crucial for us because it is recognised as the quality standard for organisation of agricultural events. We have participated in many of these exhibitions: the International Field Days in Ukraine, AgriPlanta in Romania, Agritechnica in Germany. We planned to present our company at the 2020 DLG Feldtage and we hope to participate in the subsequent 2021 event. Our aim? To provide European farmers with evidence of the efficiency of the biological products we produce.
On top of this, we are active partners in DLG Ukraine and aim to participate in all DLG events planned there.
The DLG organisation is excellent for networking. It is, after all, a community concerned with all agricultural issues and a great forum for sharing knowledge.
Our latest project reflects our aims in this respect. This comprises a series of videos entitled »Simply about microbes«. In short films, we explain in plain language the processes that combine microbiology, ecology, soil science and agricultural botany. The first video features the world of microorganisms and is already translated in English and can be found in YouTube under our company name and under the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TgIA0wuAV8&t=108s
Subsequent videos will cover soil ecology, mycorrhiza, P and K mobilising bacteria, microorganism effects on plant disease, on decomposition of plant residues and the compatibility of microbes and agrochemicals.
Firstly, there’s a movement towards eating healthier food and wanting to know more about its production. This stimulates the market for organic products and reduces demand for food from intensive production systems with heavy fertiliser use: not always financially efficient, nor environmentally friendly. Important, I believe, is adoption of Integrated Pest Management that uses more mechanical and biological methods together with conventional husbandry. Transparency is important for the consumer and that’s where our video series plays a role.
Ukraine is already a rich country in this respect. Even now, it’s the second largest supplier of organic products in the European market. But it has far more potential in this field and I hope those responsible will work hard to realise this promise. It is our honour as a company to support organic farming production, as well as helping conventional farming to be more efficient through integrating biological plant protection and nutrition.