Svetozar Alexiev: “Environmental protection in milk production is of vital importance”

November 15, 2013

One of the best examples of the successful implementation of new energy efficient technologies is Svetlozar Alexiev’s farm, situated in the village of Kaloyanovo. With more than 150 dairy cows on the farm, Svetlozar and his partner continue to invest in improvements to their agricultural business.

With a ProCredit Bank loan, the farmers invested in a manure storage facility, a new tractor, a liquid fertiliser tank, and also renovated the farm building.

Svetlozar Alexiev tells us more about the project, which complies with the EU Nitrates Directive and which contributes to the effective and environmentally friendly utilisation of manure.

You have recently completed a project which is in compliance with the EU Nitrates Directive. What exactly were the improvements you made?

If you want to progress and improve, you have to engage and modernise. Complying with the Nitrates Directive requirements was an important step in strengthening our business. We bought a tractor with a fertiliser spreader, we built and equipped a special milking room underneath the farm and we built a manure storage facility. With financing from ProCredit Bank we managed to renovate one of the buildings, and we plan to renovate the other next year. We will also build a fence and a shed. The investments in equipment mean that our farm is now better organised and more efficient. 

Environmental protection and milk production are of the greatest importance to us. Apart from feeding the animals with clean and appropriate food, it is very important to us that waste is used in a sensible and environmentally-friendly way. That is why we started this project – to avoid creating pollution and to boost our competitiveness. All waste produced by the cows is now re-used as efficiently as possible.

How did you finance the project?

We’ve been working with ProCredit Bank for more than two years now. In the beginning it was very difficult to find funding. I went to all of the banks. Then one day, by chance, I heard a ProCredit radio commercial and I said to myself: “That’s the only one I haven’t tried yet”. I went to the bank and met a credit expert – the same who serves me today. And that’s how things got started. I face difficulties every day, and that is why it is important that my bank understands me and that I can trust my bank.

There is no way that I can make a lot of money from my farm – nor is that my goal. What I want is to develop. Unless I continuously develop my farm, the time will come when I am unable to respond to the market and meet production standards. That is why I invest: to develop. I wish I was able to grow. I plan to increase the number of animals and select a new breed , and that requires a good plan and an understanding partner.

Как започнахте да се занимавате с животновъдство?   

My father used to breed animals so I’ve been in this environment since I was young. It was my dream to farm animals and breed cows.

Some time ago I bought a house near Hisar. I was looking for a mason to do some work on the house, which is how I met Angel. He started working for me and we became friends. Meanwhile, I started buying animals and I built a cowshed. Angel suggested that I buy an old farm next to his cowshed and that we start breeding animals together. I bought the building, did some renovation and that’s how we got started. The two of us get along very well and help each other a lot.

What does it take to be a good farmer?

The most important thing is motivation. If I come here from Plovdiv with a headache, it is healed here: I relax incredibly easily in nature. Working here with the animals brings me pleasure. They have such positive energy, and that charges me. Competition among milk producers here in the region is very high, but we are happy. We manage to produce milk, and that is what matters.