Meat producer Cherkizovo has begun building two new greenfield pork farms in the Tambov and Voronezh regions of Central Russia.

The investment is expected to cost approximately US$110m, with around 20% to be funded by Cherkizovo and the remaining 80% with bank loans.

The new complexes will house 4,800 sows and will each have an estimated full capacity of 12,500 tonnes of live-weight pork per year.

The company plans to launch the new sites’ breeding facilities in the first half of 2011 and the rearing and fattening facilities will come on-stream during 2011. The complexes are expected to reach their full capacity by the end of 2012.

The new sites are close to Cherkizovo Group’s existing pork production and processing facilities in the Penza and Tambov regions.

“The Russian pork market remains highly fragmented; only 53% of production is on an industrial level, while greenfield production is even lower. Our preference for greenfield construction allows us to build highly efficient new farms that meet modern international standards,” said Cherkizovo Group CEO Sergey Mikhailov.