by BETTER FARMING STAFF
A Canadian pig genetics company with offices in Ontario and Manitoba is finding new opportunities in Russia.
Genesus Inc. is partnering with Kubangsky Bacon, a Russian company, to market swine genetics within Russia. Once in full swing, the venture is expected to produce 40,000 sows per year.
“Today it’s costing $500 to fly a pig from Canada to Russia,” says Jim Long, president and CEO of Genesus, explaining one of the motivations for the venture.
Long says his company helped develop a brand new facility in Russia’s Kuban district about 1,100 miles south of Moscow between the Black and Caspian seas. The site will eventually include a 1,200-sow nucleus and two 2,600-sow multiplier units. Genesus will operate the farm, run the genetic program and market the genetics within Russia.
Negotiations are underway to have an Ontario company supply feed. Long declined to name the company. “I think it would be premature,” he says.
On Wednesday, federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz renewed Canada’s commitment to continue working with Russia to increase bilateral trade. A news release quoted Ritz as saying, “Russia is a growing market and partner for Canada’s agriculture sector, especially for the livestock industry.”
The federal news release said the Genesus deal is worth more than $5 million and that Russia’s average imports of livestock and genetics from Canada are worth $26 million “in a potential market of $235 million.”
No Canadian government funds are involved in the Genesus venture, Long says, but adds the Russian government contributed a low-interest loan. He says his company is investing about $500,000 a year for 10 years in the venture.
Russia imports 40 per cent of its pork, Long says, but the country’s goal is to produce more of its own meat. Half of what is produced domestically is “still produced in backyards.” The price of a slaughter pig is “a little over $300 a pig,” he says. “It’s probably the best place in the world today to invest in swine.” BF