They found "black gold" in the village of Oranchitsy. And it's not oil!

Author: Antonina HOKIMOVA / photo by Ivan OSKIRKO / / 12.08.2021 /
English Translation: DeepL Translate
The swamp-forest massif a few kilometers from the railway station Oranchitsy has kept its secret for centuries. And now under the layer of peat lifted by machinery you can see a denser black substance — sapropel. Partially it is already drying in piles. Fancifully shaped boulders are scattered everywhere. Traces of wild animals that come here "for vitamins" can be seen everywhere. And in some areas the machines are still clearing the territory from trees and bushes.

What nature has done

Grigorii PEREKHOD, head of the production section of AGROSEMPRODUCT, pulls a young tree with a powerful root system from this fertile soil: it is hard to find a better argument in favor of the "elixir of fertility.
Григорий ПЕРЕХОД,​ начальник производственного участка ОДО "АГРОСЕМПРОДУКТ"
Grigorii PEREKHOD, head of the production area of ALC "AGROSEMPRODUCT".
These are bottom sediments formed over the centuries. When the glacier descended, lakes formed and plankton inhabited them. Remains of plankton, living organisms and soil humus without air access formed the unique qualities of sapropel. The age of our sapropels is about 10 thousand years. At the bottom of the lake that once existed here we find round-shaped stones that were rolled around by the glacier: basalt, granite, marble, and even quartz, which is considered a companion of gold, can be found.
The deposit with the unusual name "Udhodva" is 100 hectares of wetlands. It contains about 1 million 100 thousand "cubes" of sapropel. And the reserves of "black gold" in Belarus are estimated at about 1 billion tons.

Drilling fluids are more efficient

The production site of ALC "AGROSEMPRODUCT" is located in Oranchitsy (on the territory of the former agricultural machinery). But it didn't start with sapropel. The main activity of the enterprise is the production of liquid microfertilizer "ADOB Bor" for all types of crops. The fertilizer is in demand not only in Belarus, but also in Ukraine and Russia. Capacity allows producing up to 2 million liters of fertilizer per year. But this production is seasonal. So that the team is not idle in summer and winter, additional direction was required. A deposit of peat and sapropel in the vicinity came just in time.
Grigorii PEREKHOD, who has been working with sapropel for about 20 years in cooperation with the country's leading scientists, is convinced of the prospects of this direction:
Last year we started supplying to PA Belorusneft. This is the main consumer of sapropel for drilling fluids (this composition allows speeding up well drilling by 30-40%). Sapropel ALC "AGROSEMPRODUCT" has been used at two sites, which was preceded by a complicated approbation process laboratory and practical research together with the Institute of Oil in Gomel. It turned out that sapropel-based drilling mud is superior in some parameters to synthetic ones imported from the USA and Canada, while being cheaper. The conclusion we received allows us to participate in tenders and make deliveries. 300 tons of sapropel has already gone to Belorusneft. This market in the country is estimated at 20-30 thousand tons per year.

...And strawberries are sweeter

Farmers often come to the base of ALC "AGROSEMPRODUCT" in Oranchitsy and load 10-kilogram sacks with sapropel into the trailer. Many of them are convinced by their own experience that this valuable fertilizer helps to restore the natural fertility of the land and improve the quality of the harvest (in terms of protein and sugar content). Strawberries, if fed with the "elixir of fertility", will be sweeter and more nutritious. The important property of sapropel is also the reduction of nitrates, heavy metals and radioactive elements.

The enterprise's products were of interest to Kobrin experimental forestry. Thanks to it the seedlings in the nurseries took root better, their root system is powerful. The company is waiting for the conclusion of scientists from the Forest Institute and the Scientific and Practical Center of the Ministry of Forestry, where samples of Oranchitsa sapropel were sent for research.
Sapropel is the only organic fertilizer suitable for radical improvement (recultivation) and soil sanitation. In this regard, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates can be considered as a promising market. These countries have a state program for greening (planting trees), supported by large subsidies. They want to improve the natural exchange and mitigate the climate. But potential partners are not interested in 100 or 200 tons they need large volumes. And for us it means complicated logistics, cars, warehouse rent... It is unacceptable to disrupt the terms of contracts. Nevertheless, we are working on it, we are preparing our business proposals. We are also considering options to enter the markets of Europe and China.

Cosmetic masks and feed additives

By the way. "Faberlic" produces cosmetic masks based on sapropel. And it would be strange if the sanatorium "Ruzhansky", located not far from Orancice, would not be interested in the local products. We sent them for testing and the therapeutic muds showed good effect.
But the main use of multi-faceted sapropel at the company still considers feed additives made of it.
We buy protein in the form of meal in Ukraine and expensive premixes, thereby raising the cost of milk and meat. That is why meat production for agricultural enterprises is unprofitable today. While scientists have proved that when sapropel is added to fodder, protein is assimilated by animals by 75% instead of 50, and the need for premixes is decreased. We should use this reserve, otherwise we will have to import more and more meat and poultry from abroad, because the cost price is lower there.
The difficult procedure of registering a feed additive is already at the final stage.