Milk-producing families and dairy cooperatives supported by SOCODEVI, with the assistance of Sollio Groupe cooperative and Agropur, are growing fast.
Favorit Farm, a medium-sized family farm in the town of Striy in the Lviv Oblast, is no exception! In recent years, its herd has grown from 85 to 229 animals, with an additional 150 young heifers being raised this year.
And that’s not all: milk productivity has gone up from 8.6 litres per cow per day to 22 litres per cow per day, and the quality continues to improve.
“We are selling four tons of premium milk at the Mucco cheese factory every day,” according to Ivan Zazuliak, manager of the dairy herd at Favorit Farm.
What explains these growing figures? Technical assistance!
Since the early 2010s, when a number of cooperatives were created based on an organizational mode similar to that of Agropur, SOCODEVI has helped export the Quebec model of technical assistance in the milk sector and adapt it to the Ukrainian context with the local partner, Lviv Agricultural Extension Services (LADS).
With the creation of its DMS unit—a dairy management system—LADS is offering monthly farm visits. A technician takes milk samples from each cow, analyzes them in a laboratory, and makes recommendations based on milk quality and yield.
This milk management was strongly supported by the Quebec organization Lactanet up until 2019.
“The cooperation with LADS helped us make the farm’s dairy division profitable again,” said Favorit Farm owner Yuriy Shvydchenko. “It’s worth the expense!”
Two modern dairy laboratories were built as part of the dairy project in order to provide milk analysis for 20,000 cows.
“The DMS lab, assisted by Canada’s project, is helping me track the health of my herd. With the LADS veterinarian, we are designing techniques to stimulate the cows. The somatic cell count report provided by the lab helps me plan cow treatments and manage herd health so as to improve breeding and reproduction.”
— IHOR PUCHKOVSKY, artificial insemination technician at Favorit farm —
With the support of SOCODEVI, milk and cereal producers have been able to modernize their operations by:
- implementing best practices in agriculture;
- investing in modern equipment and infrastructure;
- developing new skills to ensure strong governance and management within their co-operatives.
“ Our cooperation with the LADS and DMS programs is helping us make more efficient use of our available feed. We are now grouping the cows according to their feed requirements and maximizing their productivity. ”
— ANDRIY FEDAK, farm manager —
These achievements were made possible thanks to financial support from the Government of Canada.