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EU Funds Help Modernise Baltic Dairy

20 January 2012

LATVIA - Two new farm stables (one for cows, one for calves) and two 5000 m3 slurry storages have transformed a Latvian farm to a modern 256 dairy cow enterprise.

Milk production is up by 17 per cent, two jobs have been created and waste management has been greatly improved.

Farm Veccsilijani is located in the Vidzeme Region in Latvia. It is primarily an agricultural area, with livestock and crop farming.

Farm Vecsiljani was an old Soviet-era dairy unit with inefficient feeding, poor slurry storage and with constraints on increasing the herd size. The owners used the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) funding opportunities to transform the farm into a modern enterprise, attractive to work in for employees and owners alike.

The main aim of the project was to expand production, increase income and employment by replacing the dated farm stables and slurry storage with modern alternatives that greatly improve the efficiency of the enterprise. These objectives were pursued having in mind the adoption of environmentally friendly farming practices.

Support for business planning to take the development from idea to reality was an important initial step. Advisory and consultancy services contributed greatly to this, including compliance with planning requirements. After this, contracting of the builders and equipment suppliers and project management were the main activities through to completion.

The new facilities have brought about a rapid increase of milk production (up 17 per cent) and income, and two new jobs have been created to manage the increased stock numbers (18 staff now employed). Nitrogen evaporation to the atmosphere has been reduced considerably and groundwater quality is now greatly improved. Herd health is also much better. The enterprise is now a much more attractive place of work for employees.

Accurate financial analysis and planning is essential before proceeding with such a development, to ensure the proposal is viable and worthwhile. Thorough planning also helps secure investment finance to complement EAFRD funding, for example from a bank.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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