The founding shareholder and chairman of Cherkizovo Group has said he is considering opening of mini-dairy farms in the republic of Altai.

During a visit to the south central republic yesterday (4 September), Cherkizovo chairman Igor Babaev said, with the support of the authorities, he may consider the possibility of investing in the development of an “agro-industrial complex”. Babaev said he was “ready to share [the region’s agriculture] experience to create mini-dairy farms”.

The chairman said the creation of a mini-farm would require 150-200 dairy cows and around a US$4.5-5m investment to “work the land”, purchase the equipment, construct farmer accommodation and implement the necessary networks and communications.

Babaev said the development of such a farm would ignite the interest of younger people in the agricultural industry and “revive the village”.

“It is possible, on a competitive basis to choose a young couple – a family, if he has completed a year or two and has proved it is possible to … rent for 20-30 years with an option to buy this farm.”

Babaev added that the land of the Altai Republic is “a unique opportunity” that will produce “high-quality” milk. He said that if dairy farms worked as well in Altai as they did in the western regions of Tambov and Lipetsk, he would look to start production of Altai-cured cheese, although he did not give a timescale as to when he would look to set up the mini farms.