Director of Al Dahra: We have invested 60 million euros in PKB, twice as much as expected

The company Al Dahra from the United Arab Emirates, which bought the property of PKB Corporation three years ago, invested around 60 million euros in business improvement, introduced technological innovations and became one of the most modern in the agricultural sector in the region, said director Dusan Radicevic.

“Since arriving in Serbia until today, the company Al Dahra has invested almost 60 million euros in improving the business of the former PKB, twice as much as was foreseen by the contractual obligation to the state,” Radicevic told Beta.

He added that Al Dahra found infrastructure and equipment, several decades old, and that it was necessary to carry out a complete modernization, which is why it “stood out as a leader in terms of investments in the agricultural sector.”

Immediately after the completion of the purchase of the company’s property, according to Radicevic, a large investment process was launched, and the invested funds quickly gave the first results, so last year achieved record yields of wheat 8.2 tons per hectare, barley 8.9 tons and oilseed rape 4.4 tons per hectare.

Significant funds, as he said, were invested in the agricultural machinery, livestock and infrastructure of the company, and the largest part of the investments refers to the construction of a new factory for processing alfalfa (clover).

He pointed out that new solutions have been implemented, thanks to which the former process of land cultivation has been significantly improved, which enabled the beginning of the process of improving the quality of the land, increasing yields, saving fuel and reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

According to him, additional investments in the most modern infrastructure and equipment in the amount of 25 million euros are planned for this year.

“We have prepared a project of irrigation and drainage of land, worth 80 million euros, which will significantly increase the efficiency of the company, and will take place in the next four years. This system will cover almost all arable land and provide even better yields, which will no longer depend on weather conditions “, said Radičević.

According to Radičević, most of the land is used for the production of soybeans, sunflowers, corn, oilseed rape, wheat, barley, alfalfa and seeds.

This year, Al Dahra will start, as he said, the production of vegetables and atypical crops for the former PKB, such as some types of vegetables and plants that are used for the production of essential oils.

As he stated, part of the production is used for the needs of the company, and the rest will be placed on the domestic and foreign markets.

According to him, the company has built a modern alfalfa processing factory, which it will completely export.

“Al Dahra is a world leader in the processing and sale of alfalfa-based products, so we have a wide market. We will provide jobs for about 50 people in the factory, and we plan to establish long-term cooperation with local farmers, which will create conditions for them further investment and raising productivity. The planned export for this year is 20 million euros, “Radicevic said.

According to him, although the contractual obligations cease to be valid after three years, the company will “remain committed to what it came to Serbia for”.

“As a global leader in the world of agribusiness, we will continue to work on preserving and promoting the rich heritage of PKB, convinced that Al Dahra will become one of the most modern and successful agricultural centers in the region,” said Radicevic.

He added that Al Dahra will continue to engage in dairy farming, despite the low price of milk, “continuously monitoring the needs of the industry.”

“We recognize these price challenges, which is why we will carefully analyze trends and developments in this sector. We hope that this trend in the dairy sector will change and that milk production will return to a profitable zone. Our goal is to operate on a sound basis.” , said Radičević.

According to him, Al Dahra employs about 1,200 workers, and has increased salaries by more than 30 percent, so, for example, the average salary paid to PKB workers in 2017 was 390 euros, including management salaries, while the current average paid salary around 510 euros, without salaries of employees in the highest positions.

Radičević pointed out that they are continuously investing in the development of domestic experts and “creating benefits for all employees”, which is why they are convinced that Al Dahra will find its place on the map of the most desirable employers in Serbia.

With the collective agreement, signed with the representative unions, Al Dahra, as he said, undertook to pay severance pay of 500 euros per year of service in case of redundancy, but so far there has been no redundancy.

According to him, the company’s management is aware that it plays an important role in the life of the community in which they operate and therefore continuously provides support to fellow citizens.

“We donated one million euros to the ‘Milan Jovanovic Batut’ Institute for Public Health, in one of the most difficult moments for our health during the covid-19 virus pandemic.” “With several local non-governmental associations and environmental organizations, we cleaned three landfills in the area of ​​the settlement of Padinska Skela, and together with ‘Srbijavode’, we cleaned 300 kilometers of canals located in the territory we are cultivating,” said Radičević.

He added that the company also treated the canals in the settlement of Vrbovsko with seaweed, which enabled the re-formation of the living world and neutralized unpleasant odors from the surrounding farms.

Radičević also pointed out that “Al Dahra in the neighborhood has already been recognized” with the help of the public health system, education, local football clubs and the local folklore society, while 100,000 euros have been set aside for socially responsible activities this year.

By Editor

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