Don Agro International quadruples planted acreage for organic wheat and increases sowing area for winter wheat
31 May 2022
• Increase in organic wheat acreage demonstrates Group’s focus on ESG;
• The Group increases arable land for winter wheat planting by 12% to 25,157 hectares;
• The Group expects the harvest yield for 2022 to match or exceed 2021’s;
• Plans are underway with the Group for the installation of solar panels to increase sustainable energy usage.
Singapore, 31 May 2022 – Don Agro International Limited (the “Company” or “Don Agro”) and its subsidiaries (collectively the “Group”), is pleased to announce that it continues to implement its environmental, social, and corporate governance (“ESG”) strategy by planting organic crops and applying eco-friendly innovative technologies.
The Group has begun growing organic wheat in 2020 as part of its ESG goal to produce a more environmentally-friendly crop; an area of 11.0 hectares was allocated for the pilot project for organic wheat cultivation which was concluded successfully. This year, Don Agro will harvest organic crops from 44.0 hectares of land which is 4 times the planted area from before. Organic wheat is a growing niche as 1.6%
of the world’s farmland is organic with a 4.1% growth in farmland since 2019. This reflects a budding yet rising shift to organic planting.
“We are satisfied with the yields of organic wheat that we harvested last year and we will continue to explore the growth potential of organic wheat. In accordance with the requirements for certified organic produce, we do not apply mineral fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides to the land. The growth of weeds is controlled by harrowing which involves the physical uprooting of weeds.
In two years, we will be able to obtain an official organic certification of our wheat as per the existing rules and regulations of the relevant governing authorities”, Chief Agronomist Mr Ivan Kalaytanov commented.
The Group also increased the acreage for winter wheat from 24,032 hectares to 25,157 hectares to accommodate the world’s rising demand for grain. Don Agro expects a new all-time high harvest in 2022 with the larger planted area and the trend in growing yields. In 2021, the Group harvested 72,300 tonnes of winter wheat which is an 11.3% improvement over 2020. In FY2021, Don Agro recorded an all-time high of S$10.3 million net profit demonstrating the growth in crop production and yield. In 2021, a significant part of the year’s harvest was sold at the beginning of 2022 when the wheat prices had touched a 14-year peak.
Hence, the Company expects to perform well in the financial year ending 31 December 2022, in line with the rising wheat prices and higher crop yield.
In addition, the Group continues the implementation of its ESG strategy through the plans to install a solar power plant with a total capacity of 30 kW on its territory this year. A plantation of 78 panels will produce more than 37 MWh per year based on the available sunlight hours. This clean energy source will help reduce the Group’s carbon footprint by decreasing the reliance on gas sources with higher carbon
The Group also increased the area for no-till farming from 7,200 to 7,600 hectares this year as part of the ESG strategy. Zero tillage is done on the soil, reducing soil disturbance and increasing the amount of water that infiltrates into the soil. The soil also retains organic matter and nutrients, thereby improving the soil’s fertility. No-till farming also reduces the use of labour, machinery and fuel as tillage is not required.
About Don Agro International Limited
Don Agro is a Singaporean agricultural company. It is principally engaged in the cultivation of agricultural crops and production of raw milk. The Group has a total controlled land bank of 67,340 hectares, of which more than 54,420 hectares are arable land. The Group owns approximately 17,200 hectares of its controlled land bank.
Within the crop production segment, the Group is primarily engaged in the farming of commercial crops such as winter wheat, sunflower, and corn. The crops are sold to key international and local traders in the operational regions and the Group also has a grain storage capacity of 105,000 tonnes.
In addition, the Group is the largest milk producer in its operating region and owns more than 4,000 heads of dairy cattle which includes approximately 2,200 milking cows.
Don Agro has been listed on the Catalist of SGX on 14 February 2020.