Gold has been found in the Pruzhansky district ... organic

Author: Oleg SIDARENKO / photo: Katerina MASIK / District Weekdays / 26.03.2021
Just over 10 years ago, the Belarusian-Polish joint venture "Adob-Agro" was established in the village of Oranchitsy. The company, which focused its activities on the production of boron fertilisers under the licence of foreign partners, has been continuously developing and entering new markets. Among the consumers of its products is the agro-industrial sector not only in our country, but also in neighbouring Russia and Ukraine. The demand for the proposed trace element is very high, especially in the field of plant production, which has ensured the competitiveness of the young company.

However, this year the Adob-Agro LLC … ceased its activities. What was the reason for such a seemingly incomprehensible decision? As G.V. Perekhod, the production director, explains, at the beginning of this year it was decided to buy out the “Polish" share in the authorised capital of the company, which made legal changes necessary. And instead of the joint company, there is now a fully Belarusian limited liability company "AGROSEMPRODUCT" in Oranchitsy. But the changes were not just legal.
Grigorii Vasilyevich PEREKHOD
Head of the production site of ALC "AGROSEMPRODUCT"
Doosan 140LCV excavator
— The fact is that the production of boron fertiliser is seasonal, which means that production is shut down for part of the year, — explains Grigory Vasilievich. — So in parallel we looked for other ways to keep the lines and people busy.
Grigorii Vasilyevich PEREKHOD, Head of the production site of ALC "AGROSEMPRODUCT"
And such an opportunity arose not so long ago. Sapropel was discovered in one of the peat deposits in the Pruzhany region. It should be admitted that this is not surprising for Belarus; in Soviet times, up to one million tonnes of sapropel were mined annually on the territory of our republic. However, at the end of the last century the industry declined, and today this figure does not exceed 50 thousand tonnes per year. The main part of active deposits is located in the Vitebsk region. In the Brest region, deposits in the Ivatsevichi district are considered promising for development. However, as the production director of Agrosemprodukt explains, the quality of Pruzhany sapropel is much higher. In the course of research, scientists of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus have established that the local sapropel was formed as a result of the arrival of the glacier and its age exceeds 10 thousand years. In the sapropel of the "Udhovda" deposit, the content of humic substances exceeded 63%, including humic acids – 51.3%, fulvic acid – 12.1%, as well as more than 100 useful elements. This indicator exceeds the possibilities of extracted substances in other deposits of the country. However, it is not the theoretical but the practical application of the discovery that is of more interest. The founders of the Oranchitsa company drew attention to it and started research. And they discovered several areas of activity at the same time.
— Sapropel is often used to prepare drilling muds because it has a lower density and costs five times less than other mixtures used to treat wells to prevent contamination, — says G.V. Perekhod. — That is why we immediately approached local oil companies, which are developing several oil fields in Belarus.
Belorusneft's domestic oilmen were interested in the products on offer, and in December last year the company signed a contract and delivered the first batch of products. At the same time, sapropel has more valuable properties of a different nature, and the return from them should be many times higher than from drilling mud alone.
The inscription "ADOB-AGRO"
For example, due to its composition, sapropel can be used as a feed additive for cattle and pigs. Such a study was conducted in the RUE "Scientific and Practical Center of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus on Animal Husbandry". The result of Pruzhansky sapropel surprised scientists. When it is included in the diet of cattle humic acids promote digestion of animals and normalize gastric microflora. Productivity and weight gain increase by 8-15%, milk fat content increases, and at the same time costs are reduced. Due to its antibiotic effect, sapropel stimulates the immune system and contributes to the prevention of cattle diseases. During three months of research, scientists noted a 96% reduction in the risk of mastitis and a 3-5 fold reduction in the content of somatic cells in milk. A similar effect was observed when using the additive for birds and pigs. And also sapropel makes it possible to refuse from grain group components in mixed fodders, replacing them completely.
Front loader Amkodor 342P
The relevant tests were completed at the end of last year and the documentation for registration of the food additive is now being prepared. The Oranchitsa producers have already sent a trial batch to potential buyers — Savushkin Product and Parokhonskoe — and some has been sent to Russian cattle farmers who have expressed an interest in establishing a permanent supply.

There is another feature of Pruzhany sapropel that is easier to master. Together with representatives of the Gomel State Forestry Research Institute of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, the use of sapropel in plant production was tested on the basis of the Kobrin Experimental Forestry. Several types of fertiliser for tree seedlings were prepared. Pruzhany Sapropel gave the best results in terms of root system development, growth and plant condition. The possibilities of the new organomineral fertilizer, which helps plants to absorb up to 95% of the nutritional elements from mineral fertilizers, led to a more active process of registration of the corresponding fertilizer with the provisional name "Fertiliz". Another advantage of using a natural substance is its ecological safety. The combination of sapropel with mineral elements makes it possible to produce organomineral fertilisers which, in the vast majority of cases, "work" for the plants and do not get into groundwater or the air. It is also worth considering the potential savings of "mineral fertiliser", which, taking into account current costs, will amount to millions of rubles. And at the same rate of application it is predicted that the yield of all crops without exception will increase by 2-3 times. The relevant conclusions on the use of organomineral fertilisers from Pruzhany sapropel were drawn by scientists from the Institute of Nature Management of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus. Now the production technology is being developed.

Today the company employs 18 people, and last year we were able to extract just over 10,000 tonnes using the equipment on the balance sheet. The necessary equipment has been purchased for the pre-sale preparation of sapropel, storage facilities have been allocated and some of the raw materials are stored.
— We are planning to further increase production by increasing the number of employees to 30, — says Grigorii Vasilievich. — We believe that the demand for sapropel products will grow soon, so we are gradually preparing for it by developing our own capacities. Let's hope that the "organic gold" that the Pruzhany region has given us will bring us significant benefits. Not only in terms of improving the socio-economic development of the region, but also in terms of environmental safety.
District Weekdays Background Information:
Sapropel is the centuries old bottom sediment of freshwater bodies, formed from the remains of vegetation, living organisms and plankton, and therefore contains a large amount of organic matter. In terms of value, this heritage is also known as “organic gold". However, this name is outdated, as new discoveries mean that sapropel can be equated with diamonds.


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