Delta Agrar d.o.o, founded in 1993 with headquarters in New Belgrade, is one of the leading domestic producers of agricultural products. With the intensive implementation of global technologies in agriculture, education of staff, and continual acquisition of knowledge, the company successfully keeps pace with global trends. Its excellent business results stem from the implementation of the latest techniques in the production of cereals, fruit, vegetables, industrial plants and animal farming. The Company also specializes in trading stock exchange products, machinery, pesticides, fruit and vegetables.
Jobs within the Company are divided in 4 organizational units:
- primary agricultural production,
- cooperation and repurchase,
- trade and distribution of agricultural products,
- food production.
Delta Agrar operates successfully in the countries of the region, European Union, Russia, Switzerland, UAE, India, Turkey, and Kuwait. Partners of Delta Agrar are world’s leading companies in all areas of agricultural business: Syngenta, Corteva, Bayer CropScience, BASF, Landini, Rivulis, Nufarm, Biesterfeld, DanBred, Kuhn, Summit Agro International, Adama, UPL, and others.
Distribution of Agricultural Products
Delta Agrar specializes in the production and distribution of seed products and fodder, and the representation of world-renowned companies in the domestic market in the domain of plant protection products and agricultural machinery.
In its processing centre, the largest of its kind in Serbia, Delta Agrar exclusively produces and processes seed maize and sunflower for Corteva Company. The Company continually develops domestic soybeans and SELSEM brand, which has been present on the market for over 30 years. At the moment, the brand has reached a market share of 25% and its varieties are sold in 11 countries across the globe.
The Company successfully represents, produces and distributes seed maize and sunflower from renowned companies Corteva, KWS, and Syngenta. In addition, it produces and distributes seed wheat and barley variets from the companies KWS (Solehio, Modern, Lazulli and Marvel), Saatzucht Donau (Amicus, Balaton, Gaudio, barley varieties Carmina and Finola), Sygenta (Pibrac and Ingenio) and Axereal (Basilio).
In cooperation with its partners and seed companies, Delta Agrar complies with the principles of sustainable development, respects human rights, employment rights and ethical principles, and controls its impact on the environment.
The most prominent results in 2020 include:
- Extension of the contract concluded with Corteva company for a period of 4 years – exclusive production of hybrid maize and sunflower;
- Growth in export of Selsem soybean of 55%;
- New variety of soybean registered in Serbia;
- Partnerships with companies Syngenta and KWS in the segment of seed wheat through exclusive production and distribution extended to 2 additional varieties;
- Increase in pesticide turnover by 16.9%;
- Increase in the number of pesticide buyers by 5%;
- Agile response to global epidemic crisis;
- Adjustment to the needs of domestic market with adequate product packaging in the pesticide segment;
- The beginning and extension of cooperation with companies UPL and Sharda;
- Introduction of VRI irrigation system;
- Increase in the sale of Landini tractors and accessory machinery, and expansion of dealership network;
- Agreed cooperation and the beginning of sale of accessory machinery manufactured by “Nobili” Italia, “ROMSAN” Turkey, and “ID David” Spain.
Plans for 2021 include:
- Growth of sale for all products;
- Expansion of the network of foreign distributers;
- Expansion of the area under plants from seed production;
- Beginning of registration process for 3 varieties in Russia;
- Beginning of exclusive distribution of maize hybrid;
- Increased turnover of pesticides in comparison with 2020 by 3%;
- Introduction of new products at the existing pesticide suppliers and expansion of portfolio on the basis of exclusive distribution for 10 new products;
- Expansion of the range of pesticides with a new hobby program of household products (liquid fertilizers and plant products);
- Additional coverage by the irrigation system in cherry plantation;
- Expansion of VRI irrigation system;
- Growth of sale of Landini tractors and accessory machinery, and expansion of dealership network;
- Introduction of new brands in the area of accessory machinery.
Delta Agrar owns state-of-the-art orchards which spread across 700 ha. The Company is the largest producer of traditional and club apple varieties in the region. Besides apples, Delta Agrar grows sweet cherry, table grapes, flat peaches, and plums.
One of the most sophisticated apple plantations in Serbia and the region is situated on the property of Podunavlje in Čelarevo. The orchard’s gross area is 445 ha. The apple varieties grown on this property are the following: Gala, Braeburn Mariri Red, Golden Delicious Reinders, Red Delicious, Granny Smith, and club varieties: Modi, Kiku, and Pink Lady.
The orchard is equipped with two modern Ultra Low Oxygen Cold Sotrage Chambers with the capacity of 20,000 t. Due to the dynamic atmosphere inside the chambers, the entire apple yield can be kept in chambers up to 300 days without any chemical treatment. The cold stores are furnished with a Maf Roda line for sorting and calibration (per color, diameter and weight), with the capacity of 20 t/h.
Delta Agrar’s orchards in Zaječer area, in the vicinity of villages Vražogrnci, Veliki Jasenovac, Mali Jasenovac i Jame, cover the area of 255 ha. Apple club varieties grown in this orchard are the following: Modi, Evelina, Pink Lady, Isaaq, Red Moon, Red Sun, and Sweetango. Within the orchard, there are 30 hectares of sweet cherry plantations, 0,5 ha of flat peaches and 2 ha of the Italian plum variety Angelino. This variety may be kept in cold stores up to 3-4 months. Ten varieties of seedless table grape are planted on the area of 9 ha.
Delta Agrar started the construction of an ULO cold store for apples and sweet cherries in Zaječar. The facility will have the total capacity of 20,400 t and the area of 26,000 m2 (office building, calibration and packaging area and cold storages). The cold storage chamber will be equipped with the latest Maf Roda equipment for calibration and packaging of apples and cherries. The overall value of the investment is EUR 23 million. The construction of the ULO chamber was finished before the publication of the Report.
In 2021, the Company plans to add another 80 ha of plantations in Zaječar for Rubens, Pink Lady, Gala, and Granny Smith.
Delta Agrar completed the construction and furnishing of the latest 4,300 m2 fulfilment centre for fruit and vegetables “World of Freshness” in Stara Pazova. The value of the investment is 4 million euros. This facility is one-of-a-kind centre for acceptance, manipulation, storage and packaging of fruits from all over the world. The centre is also equipped with a modern banana ripening chamber.
High-quality planting material, protection against adverse weather conditions, appropriate irrigation and fertilization are merely some of the factors that lead to top-notch results. Orchards are equipped with moisture sensors and other soil quality indicators that use GPRS to connect with the irrigation system and meteorological station, allowing remote control and parameter monitoring
Apple trees are densely planted, in accordance with the Italian South Tyrolean technology. There are 3,900-10,000 trees per hectare, resulting in high and stable yield.
The entire apple production process is carried out in accordance with the GlobalGAP system, which ensures premium quality of products and work processes.
In addition to the abovementioned apple varieties produced by Delta Agrar, the following varieties are obtained in cooperation with individual producers: Idared, Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Jonagold, Cadel, Mucu.
- 24,121,941 kg of apples were produced:
-in the Čelarevo orchard 18,087,228 kg,
-in the orchards near Zaječar 6,034,714 kg,
-in cooperation with individual producers 1,177,000 kg;
- The turnover of imported goods increased by 9% and the turnover of purchased goods increased by 89%, which positioned Delta Agrar as one of the leading suppliers of fruit and vegetables in Serbia;
- The position of the Company in the Russian Federation was strengthened through the agency of Delta Frukt Moscow, which doubled its income in 2020 in comparison with the previous year.
- The production process was innovated through the introduction of the following:
-mechanical pruning as a preparation for mechanical harvesting,
-light reflecting foils,
Plans for 2021 include:
- Establishment of 80 ha of new apple plantation:
- 43,5 ha Pink Lady,
- 17,5 ha Rubens,
- 20 ha pollinizers.
- The increase in turnover of 9%.
In its vegetable gardens which spread across 822 ha, Delta Agrar grows: pea, onion, potato, sweet corn and popcorn.
The entire area is under the irrigation system. Production and storage processes comply with GlobalGAP Standard. The capacity of onion and potato storages exceeds 2,800 t. Storages are equipped with pack centres for sorting, calibration, cleaning and packaging of onion and potato.
In cooperation with USAID, in 2020, Delta Agrar implemented the project the aim of which is to enhance the production of small producers and sellers who trade in fruit and vegetables. Business model of cooperation consists of the following:
- introduction of GlobalGAP standard,
- education on “Zero Residue” (“Free from pesticide residues”) production method,
- soil analysis of micro and macro elements, pH, soil humus and EC performed in state-of-the-art laboratory,
- analysis of vegetable irrigation water to avoid macro biological contamination,
- analyses of samples of plants to pathogens (viruses, bacteria, fungi) and pests with the aim of reducing the application of pesticides and targeting real dangers in individual households, and
- analyses of wholesomeness of finished products.
With the support of Delta Agrar, more than 40 suppliers in the vegetable business underwent one-year process of implementation of GlobalGAP standard and “Zero Residue” production, with the aim of improving their production technologies. Thirty-two suppliers implemented the requirements of GlobalGAP standard for 12 vegetable cultures, and 2 suppliers introduced a complex “Zero Residue” standard in the production of tomato and pepper, in order to obtain high-quality products for their consumers and achieve better prices for producers.
On its fields, Delta Agrar grows cereal grains and millet-like grains, grain legumes, industrial plants, various fodders and hay mixtures for animal farms.
The most common crops are: wheat, maize, soybean, sunflower, rape, and sugar beet. High and stable yield is the result of long-term investments in machinery, modernization of production processes and acquisition of knowledge about the implementation of new technologies.
There is a tendency to expand the surfaces under irrigation. Until 2024, over 50% of arable surfaces are expected to be under the irrigation system. Irrigated surfaces ensure more stable production and two harvests per year, i.e. after the regular crops are harvested, it is possible to carry out another sowing.
As a leader in agriculture, Delta Agrar continually works on the improvement of production processes and enhancement of the quality of products. Our experts are aware of the importance of proper usage of pesticides for the production of high-quality food and protection of environment. An increasing number of consumers across the globe has the need to buy products with zero pesticide residue.
For this reason, we decided to enhance the production process and be the first producer in Serbia to produce fruit and vegetables without pesticide residues in accordance with the standard “Free from Pesticides Residues”. In cooperation with Czech and Spanish experts, Delta Agrar adopted a complex approach to production and obtained an official certificate “Free from Pesticides Residues” for apple production.
“Free from Pesticide Residue” is a certificate which guarantees that fruit and vegetables are without pesticide residues or that such residues are present only in traces, i.e. in a quantity below 0.01 mg/kg. Certification process includes sampling of products in high-risk phases of production (e.g. immediately before harvest), storage, processing, and when necessary, in retail facilities as well, and the analysis of products on the presence of 400 active materials (pesticides), which is necessary to guarantee “Free from Pesticides Residues” status in continuity.
In 2020, Delta Agrar obtained certification for an area of 25 ha, i.e. for 1,000 t of apples, namely 3 varieties: Gala, Red Delicious, and Granny Smith.
Even though the production without pesticide residues is more expensive than the conventional production, the fact that we produce healthier and safer food gives us strength to continue heading towards our goal – to offer our consumers products of the highest quality. The production without pesticide residues is in the phase of development and suitable alternatives for conventional pesticides against various diseases and pests are yet to be found. Certification of Delta Agrar goes hand in hand with scientific progress, and with this strategy, Delta Agrar made pioneering steps in the production of apples and fruit in general, not just in Serbia, but globally.
Delta Agrar specializes in pig farming and dairy farming.
Delta Agrar has 5 pig farms: Nukleus, Napredak, Kozara, Vladimirovac, and Halovo, but the production is also carried out in cooperation concluded by the Company. In terms of the achieved results, Delta’s farms rank with the best farms in Denmark, which has been the leading pig-breeding country for decades.
At the Nukleus farm in Stara Pazova, in addition to the production of breeding gilts, there is a Center for Artificial Insemination which supplies all the farms with quality seeds. The entire production is modeled after the system implemented by Danish breeders, who use DanBred genetics. This model implies that it is necessary to comply with the standards applicable to keeping, selection, preservation of health and welfare of the animals, employees’ safety, and environmental protection. In accordance with the European regulations, animals have the freedom to move under controlled weather conditions that are maintained at an optimal level.
To minimize the use of medications and preserve the health of all animals on the farm, the Company performs strict hygiene and biosafety measures both internally and externally. In order to enter the facility, employees have to take a prior shower and put on the clothes and footwear used exclusively on the farm. The employees who work on the farm are not allowed to have contact with pigs outside the farm. Due to the internal biosafety measures, movement of animals is organized in accordance with the system All-In/All-Out, which means that groups of animals go into a production phase at the same time and leave the phase simultaneously. Sections are routinely washed and disinfected. Deratization and disinsection are regularly performed. It is mandatory to wash footwear when moving through different sections. The entries are equipped with disinfection barriers.
In 2020, the farms produced and launched on the market 79,976 fatlings and 75,290 piglets.
The production of milk on the farms Napredak in Stara Pazova and Topola in Banatska Topola grew to 14.1 million litres of milk, and the plan for 2021 is to produce 16.75 million litres.
Optimal environment, biotechnology of cattle housing combined with high-quality feed are merely some of the factors that led to these outstanding results. In 2020, the total number of dairy cows amounted to 1,730, out of which 1460 cows were milked.
Upon the completion of the investment cycle (2025), dairy farms will have the capacity to milk 1,856 cows: 1,280 cows on Napredak farm and 576 cows on Topola farm. The production of milk will reach minimum 12,800 litres per cow a year.
Napredak farm is equipped with state-of-the-art stables that can house 700 dairy cows and two facilities for 150 heifers. In 2021, Delta Agrar plans to complete the construction of a new stable with the capacity to accommodate 400 heifers. For the production of milk, the farm uses the latest De Laval milking system in compliance with the EU standards. The equipment includes a computer system for control and monitoring of animals’ health. The facility has 64 places for milking, which lasts 8 minutes per cow.
Production of Fodder
Delta Feed is situated in Stara Pazova, on the foundation of the factory which used to operate within Napredak property from 1966. Delta Agrar purchased it in 2005, and the factory operates under the name Delta Feed since 2020.
Delta Feed produces only farm products, concentrates, additional mixtures and pre-mixtures for pig farming and dairy farming. High-quality feed is made of first-class mercantile goods such as corn, wheat, barley, flour for animal feed – bran foods, full-fat soya, full-fat sunflower and beet, and raw soybean oil. Production capacity is 70,000 t of ready mixtures and 2,000 t of vitamin pre-mixtures a year.
Production plant was modelled after world’s leading feed factories, with the possibility to produce high-quality pellet feed for the most sensitive animal categories. Feed is produced in accordance with the latest Danish nutrition standards. Raw materials used in the production are of the highest quality, obtained from Delta Agrar’s fields and factories Dunavka and Danubius.
In addition to the commercial sale, Delta Feed supplies all farms within Delta Agrar Group, and continues to improve the quality of stock production with high-quality products that contribute to outstanding results on the farms.
Out of the overall feed production, 70% of products is reserved for the needs of Delta Agrar’s stock farming, and 30% is launched on the market.
Since 2010, Delta Agrar has been introducing the latest technology for precision agriculture. By exploiting the available resources to the full extent (soil mapping and screening, satellite imaging of properties), the Company gathers all the necessary information required for high-quality processing. Such information allows the introduction of VRS (variable rate seeding), VRI (variable rate irrigation), VRF (variable rate fertilization), etc. On its properties, the Company has introduced autopilot GPS systems and digital field map. GNSS systems allow precise execution of operations and manipulation of machinery with less human involvement. Delta Agrar is currently using 31 tractors with autopilot, which raised the bar of agricultural production, and 126 GPS units.
Precision agriculture systems enable the following:
- Precise scanning of the soil;
- Ploughing outside the furrow – Delta Agrar was the first one to introduce this kind of soil treatment in Serbia. Implementation of this system leads to reduced fuel consumption, better results, and reduced soil compaction;
- Variable rate fertilization in accordance with plant needs and the concentration of elements in the soil;
- Satellite detection and monitoring of crops;
- GPS vehicle monitoring.
Precision agriculture practices:
- Improve the control of the production process and reduce the possibility of error;
- Improve the conditions for plant growth and increase yield;
- Reduce the use of nitrogen fertilizers which may cause ecological issues in underground waters;
- Improve work efficiency, which ultimately leads to decrease in fuel consumption, labour, and reduced application of plant protection products and fertilizers.
In addition to having its own production, Delta Agrar cooperates with other agricultural producers in livestock farming, crop and fruit farming.
The cooperation includes:
- support in financing of production (procurement of animals, fertilizers, seeds, pesticides, and advance purchase of mercantile goods),
- expert monitoring of crop farming technology,
- guaranteed launching of manufactured agricultural products,
- purchase of excess crops,
- service storage.
Contracts stipulate technical and consulting support, monitoring and control of the overall production process, with the aim of achieving the highest quality of production in compliance with procedures provided by GlobalGAP standard and HACCP.
In 2020 in cooperation with USAID organization, Delta Agrar started the project aiming to improve the manufacturing process and sales of fruits and vegetables of individual agricultural producers. The business model of the collaboration includes the implementation of GlobalGAP standard for smaller agricultural producers which helps them achieve quality of products suitable for export.
The project provides the small farmers with software that enables them to track quality of the manufacturing process, sorted out by crops, that leads to meeting the Global gap standards. Furthermore, the software also keeps track of the commercial business of the small farmers, in order to provide them with the business analysis at the end of each season with the purpose of helping them with cost savings where possible. The end goal is merging of the entire small farmers’ offering sorted by the category of the product, in order to achieve the better efficiency of the cumulative sales and reduce transportation costs. During 2020 the employees of Delta Agrar have extended a helping hand to 32 manufacturers, therefore, enabling them to acquire manufacturing certification.