Al Rawafed Serbia successfully positioned itsef on the Serbian market by applying best farming practices in the agricultural business.
Structured to upgrade and accelerate the progress of the country’s agricultural sector by implementing advanced high-tech irrigation systems, silos and storage facilities, modern mechanization technologies in combination with the latest agricultural technologies and the local expertise Al Rawafed Serbia delivers a high quality products that meet the quality standards, maintain customer satisfaction and loyalty and win new customers both for domestic and foreign markets.
Through balanced development strategy and agricultural investment (amounting to more than 50 million euros) the long-term measures and production of Al Rawafed Serbia is applied on over 10,000 hectares of fertile land in the Vojvodina, in the area of Bačka, or more precisely: Sivac, Nova Gajdobra, Sonta, Karađorđevo and Bač.
How was this year for you? Are you satisfied with the harvest and overall business?
The harvest of canola and cereal crops such as barley and wheat was completed this year. Changes in climate produced long-lasting precipitation during the harvest of these crops that consequently had as a result higher losses in yields. As harvest of soybean and corn is underway we hope that the late season weather is favorable and yields bigger than expected. At the time we are focused on trading and new-crop weather as we are already looking ahead to the next year.
How far your plans have expanded for building an irrigation system?
One of the largest and most important investments of this company in Vojvodina area is the irrigation project that supports the construction of new and the rehabilitation of existing systems (pumping stations, canals, pipelines, linear irrigation machines and pivots). It is planned that irrigation systems cover approximately sixty percent of the land being cultivated (about 6000 ha). The best equipment available on the market has been obtained, and total investment of the irrigation system is around 22 million euros. So far, 13 million euros has been invested, and it is expected that the completion of all works will be carried out during the next year. It was not saved on quality, and the results will be shown in a couple of seasons, when we will have exact data. Al Rawafed Serbia will also apply fertigation technology through the irrigation project, ie the application of foliar fertilization through the same system, which will simultaneously reduce operating costs and increase the efficiency of applied fertilizers.
Have you formed on a permanent basis your mechanization park and carried through the production cycle?
Al Rawafed Serbia has invested 8 million euros in modern machinery of renowned agricultural producers (John Deere, Claas, Hardi, Kongskilde, Monosem). In all operationally important machines, the Trimble navigation system is installed, which in addition to its exceptional precision in performing operations. Our goal is to continuously apply new technology and to train our employees on how to use more modern agricultural mechanization that will enable efficiency and affect the improvement of production. In near future we plan to complement our massive mechanization park with a part of machinery for seed production of corn and the machinery for vegetable processing.
Given that the soil in Vojvodina is much less demanding than in the Emirates, and more fertile, we assume that at home you have focused on numerous innovations in your work. What innovations do you plan to apply in Serbia and do you expect the results to be even better?
In the past 4 years on plots that we cultivate is applied a minimum tillage system in a crop rotation (corn, soybean, wheat, canola…) that rebuilds the soil structure, activates soil natural fertility, improves the drainage of soil, reduces erosion and makes possible to realize sowing in the optimal period. By continuously applying minimum tillage system as the result we have a more productive soil that is better protected against wind, water erosion, spreading of weeds and viruses is reduced and the requirements for the fuel are less when preparing the germination bed. To improve the processes of various agro operations we plan to use less intensive form of production technologies as no-till, strip-till and cover-crop operation. Also we use satellite data on crop condition at all stages of development through Trimble navigation system.
Are you planning new land acquisitions and capacity expansion?
In addition to conventional farming, as a result of market demands for more nutritious food that contains no pesticide residues, rich quality soil in Vojvodina opens the possibility for a dynamic process of growth and development of organic farming. Since May 2017, this company has been a certified organic producer with 128 hectares of organic production in Nova Gajdobra. The expansion of this project is expected by the year 2025 where our long-term prospects of organic farming will be realized on 400 hectares of land. Among the crops that we grow, we have been mainly focused on the field crops, however, our future plan is to prepare organic growing area for the vegetable production. Our general goal is to increase and improve agricultural performance through modernization of irrigation, mechanization technology improvement, improving road infrastructure, building of storage capacities, expanding area under organic production, building greenhouses and applying concepts and methods that will improve agricultural development.