News agency 'Vchasno'

The Pensioner Successfully Develops the Agricultural Business in 2 km from the Front Line in Donbas

Resident of the Chermalyk village, in the Volnovakha district, develops sheep breeding in the pig farm buildings that survived the shelling and plans to open a cheese factory in the village.

The business history of Olha Popova, the founder of the «Olino» farm, started back in the 2000s. After 30 years of work on post of the main zootechnician in one of the state farms of the Volnovakha district, the woman retired. Without imagining herself without work, she decided to do business. She took 20 hectares of land for growing onions.

«I did not have any money,» Olha Popova told «Vchasno» correspondent. — I found 100 people who agreed to work in advance. I said that after harvesting, I'll pay everybody — I'll give a ton of onions. In those days it was a lot. And they believed in me".

With the planned yield of 16 tons per hectare, Olha collected a lot more. Having received a good profit, she managed not only to pay the workers but also to build a cafe in her native village.

For 3 years, the woman opened 8 selling points, significantly expanding her business. But soon it had to be rolled up. And then Olha Popova decided to do animal husbandry. She rented the former pig farm building, where placed 50 pigs. Soon the herd reached 2,200 heads. And it seemed that the business was fine, but in 2014 a war came to her native village.

«There was a direct hit in the room with 200 tons of feed and 2 more shells flew into the tent where there were 214 pigs … terrible losses,» the woman recalls.

After the sheds collapsed from the explosions and feed was burnt, the remaining animals had to be sold. Due to heavy bombardment, agricultural business was under threat.

Chermalyk is 2 km from the line of demarcation and positions of the «DNR». Even with such a dangerous neighborhood, Olha continued to grow cereals. The grandson helped to work the land, but in May 2016 the guy was killed — blew up on an anti-tank mine.

«After I lost my grandson, I will not stop at anything,» says Olha Popova. — I'm not afraid of anything. Yes, and the granddaughter needs to be raised, educated. Who will help her?".

Photos: Volnovakha Administration

In the surviving after the shelling buildings of the former pig farm, Olha Popova grows more than 300 sheep and 150 head of cattle. They could be purchased at the expense of won UAH 500,000 under the program «Ukrainian Donetsk Kurkul». Under the terms of the program, Olha was able to employ 4 people in her household.

Today, the woman plans not only to increase the herd of sheep meat, but also the production of home-made cheese, a full cycle of production — from cultivation to the realization of the finished product. A resident of Chermalyk village plans to open a cheese factory in 2019.