Maximum cooperation: What is GITAH Porcino?
JULY 5, 2022 by Germán Piquer
As its acronym indicates, it is an Argentine-Dutch Technological Exchange Group, but we wanted to know more and that is why we interviewed Pepijn Verhey.
Pepijn Verhey is a Dutchman who came to the country for the first time in 1997 to work at Dreyfus. He returned to his native country and returned to Argentina to analyze the pig sector and assess the feasibility of making an investment in the sector in the year 1999, beginning his link with pig farming.
Verhey settled permanently in Argentina in 2003 and in 2005 he started his own company, Agrivalue S.A. Agrivalue is currently recognized for providing the following services: investment analysis of agro-industrial projects, the sale of mechanization technology for the producer and the fruit and vegetable industry, and organizes agribusiness trips (trade missions, incentives, study tours). “Agrivalue has always been linked to the pork sector, carrying out investment analysis, organizing missions and preparing market reports for companies”, he indicates.
«Argentina is a country that has natural conditions that meet the necessary requirements to be able to have an important swine sector at a global level: it has availability of water, presence of high-quality genetics, sufficient space, a high-level health status and a surplus of raw materials for a balanced feed” relates Verhey.
In order to show the main leaders of the Dutch pig sector the growth that the Argentine pig sector had achieved in the last 15 years, Agrivalue decided to organize a mission in 2018. In this mission, professionals of different kinds (genetics, food, technology, knowledge institutes), they visited facilities in Córdoba and Buenos Aires, both slaughterhouses and pig farms. Once the tours were completed, a report on the Argentine sector was made (which was published in the Netherlands) with an analysis of the weaknesses and strengths, and based on that, this project was put together.
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The main ideas left by the mission were: “Argentina is a very interesting place for pig production, with a lot of potential, but at the same time it is a country with several complications, there is a language barrier, import distortions and limited access to financing – among others – so that a single company ventures to settle” says the specialist. The solution that was found was to work together, forming a consortium of companies that complement each other and try to see how they can help their Argentine counterparts to optimize the local pork sector through the exchange of knowledge, technology and know-how. -how.
To begin with, this initiative was presented to the Dutch government explaining the objective of this cluster of Dutch companies and the Government supported this project: the members of the cluster finance half of the project and the Dutch Government supports the other half.
What does GITAH PORCINO do?
Through the transfer of knowledge and training in relation to genetics, breeding, nutrition, fattening, slaughter and trimming and lateral flow management supported by specialized Management, Identification & Registration and Traceability systems, GITAH tries to help optimize the Argentine Pork Chain providing Argentine farmers with the tools to sustainably develop their business.
With the consortium on rails, GITAH Porcino has carried out webinars and many activities to be able to interact with the Argentine pig sector, one of them was a reception at the residence of the Dutch ambassador at the end of 2021 that convened industry leaders such as AAPP, Gitep, representatives of the refrigeration sector, SENASA, Ministry of Agriculture, among others.
Other activities to be carried out include:
carrying out demonstration projects
the organization of incoming and outgoing missions
participation in fairs (“Poultry together with pigs”, for example)
Development of a practical knowledge exchange program (K2K)
Implementation of a management training program (NMTP)
Organization of seminars and webinars
In March 2022, the Cluster participated in "Poultry in conjunction with Porcine".
On June 7, references from the Argentine pig sector were trained to be able to train other trainers.
In September 2022 the NTMP Program (Netherland Trainer Management Program) will take place in the Netherlands. A program focused on those who would be the future leaders of the sector so that they learn about developments and innovation” lists Verhey.
We consulted Verhey about Dutch pig farming, its characteristics and what it has to contribute to local production, this told us:
“The Dutch integrated pork chain is innovative, efficient and sustainable. Close cooperation between the government, agricultural entrepreneurs, and knowledge institutions has resulted in cutting-edge technology and breeding programs that are sustainable and animal-friendly. The Netherlands is a country that has struggled a lot in recent years to be a sustainable sector, which takes animal welfare into account, but also a sector with little space, very focused on efficiency and high performance. One thing does not exclude the other. For this, the investment made in state-of-the-art technology helps a lot: good feeding systems, good drinking systems, but management control was also very important, that is, how to handle numbers; Anything to gather information to be able to correct What is happening inside my farm? What effect does the production have at the end in the fridge? Processes very focused on the management of the chain itself, from primary production to effluent treatment”.
We also consulted him about the weaknesses that he registered in local pig production, although he acknowledges that the bases are very good, one of the first that he mentions is the training of operators; "You have to give the tools to the staff to be able to operate well," he says. “There are also other specific optimizations, for example, there are floors that reduce maternity mortality, but obviously each technological solution always has to be analyzed to see if it is adaptable to the Argentine situation,” he adds.
“In the Netherlands there is a lot of pressure from public opinion and it is a country with very little space, production has to be well managed in terms of environmental sustainability and animal welfare. In the case of Argentina, it has always been very difficult to take advantage of the potential it has. With the incorporation of genetic improvement, improving food, stimulating domestic consumption, etc., they even managed to become an exporting country and, furthermore, important integrations were achieved" sums up Verhey, betting on maximum collaboration between both countries.
For more information about GITAH PORCINO we invite you to visit www.gitahporcino.com