Russia's Cherkizovo Group launched a sixth pig farm in the Penza region. The company intends to open about 40 more sites in the region.

On September 6, 2019, Cherkizovo Group inaugurated the farm in the presence of Gov. Ivan Belozertsev. Calling the Penza region a strategic location for its pig production business, Cherkizovo's previous local site was launched in June 2019.

Cherkizovo’s pig farms in the Penza region feature combined wean-to-finish facilities with an annual output of 5,100 tons of live-weight pork. A facility like this requires over 550 million rubles in investments. Each site is designed to house more than 20,000 pigs at a time, or up to 40,000 market hogs per year.

Belozertsev was deeply impressed with Cherkizovo's new facility, according to a press release from the company. “The investor fulfills our agreement, working well and keeping ahead of the deadlines,” said the governor.

“The Penza region is of strategic importance for Cherkizovo Group. It is home to all major segments of our business, grain and feed, poultry, pork and meat processing. We are thankful to the regional governor and his team for supporting our efforts and contributing to our success,” said Leonid Izmailov, head of investment projects at Cherkizovo Group.

As previously stated by Igor Babaev, founder of Cherkizovo Group, the company is considering building an additional 40 pig farms in the Penza Region. These plans would be greatly bolstered by the regional government’s effective support and allocation of land for construction. According to Babaev, this ambitious project goes hand in hand with the company’s intention to bring pork production in the Penza region to 300,000 tons per year in the next five to seven years.

Cherkizovo's investment projects will make the region the top pork producer in the Volga Federal District and the leader among the Russian regions in terms of non-commodity exports.

Cherkizovo hopes to export to China amid ASF outbreak

Cherkizovo is hoping that in the foreseeable future Russian companies will be allowed to export pork to China. Russian poultry exports to the country have been underway since spring of 2019. At the same time, as China is grappling with the African swine fever (ASF) epidemic, there is an increased demand for pork in its market. Experts estimate that ASF may result in the country’s pork production declining by up to 30–50%.

View our continuing coverage of the African swine fever outbreak.