The village of Borima is one of the largest villages in the Municipality of Troyan, Lovech District. It is located on the northern hillsides of Stara Planina.
Osman Ibryamov’s farm is located on the outskirts of the village, in a picturesque wooded valley of the Suhata River, a tributary of the Osam River. There are about 200 animals of both breeds – Simmental and Montbeliard in the farm. From 2018, the processing of the obtained raw milk is carried out in the dairy of the owner, and the products are produced by a unique technology, specially developed to combine the high quality characteristics of the raw material.
We conversate with Osman during the National Livestock Exhibition near Sliven. We hope that next year we will have the opportunity to see him again at the forum, but as an exhibitor, because his farm keeps first-class animals, and the dairy products he produces are a real delicacy and worth trying.
Hello, Mr. Ibryamov, we are glad to meet you here. Tell us about yourself and how animal husbandry has become a main part of your life?
My name is Osman Ibryamov. I set up the farm a bit of a joke, to be honest. My main business, which is much easier to manage and develop, is a carpentry workshop for shaped material for construction. Most of the production is for export.
This is an extremely unespexted turn. How is woodworking combined with cattle breeding?
I inherited the love for animals and their breeding from my parents. The reason for this idea was a friend of mine, who bought from me sawdust, which is used for bedding cows. We agreed that instead of paying me for each delivery, he would give me one animal. That’s how it all started, 9 years ago. In the beginning, the animals were of three breeds, Brown American, Simmental and Montbeliard. Over time, I decided to breed only Simmental and Montbeliard, the former being 3/4 of the entire herd.
You have an experience with other breeds. What do you think are the advantages of Simmental and Montbeliard animals?
Our region is very good for breeding these breeds. They adapt easily, and their milk has much higher quality indicators than other breeds. That is why we decided to create a mini dairy in which to process the milk from our animals. In the process of implementation, however, the project became larger. I invited many friends and colleagues in the industry to cooperate in a common dairy, but they did not believe that the investment would be successful. To my delight, however, things are going very well at the moment and the demand is high, as we produce real dairy products with proven origin.
Your products are unique in taste – we have personally had the opportunity to see for ourselves. We know that you work on technology that you have developed over time together with specially hired specialists. How long did it take to reach this quality?
About 2 years, during which various specialists in the industry visited the dairy and advised us. At the moment I have specially trained employees who work on this technology, but the most important thing is the high quality of the milk, the hygiene and the proper breeding of the animals! Many people said that it would not work, but when the technology of growing, feeding and processing is correct, the results are there.
Where can your products be purchased?
Since the dairy is built under Measure 26, we have the right to sell only in our region. Gradually, however, more and more people from the country come to buy directly from Ibryamov Ltd.
How long have you been a member of the Montbeliard and Simmental Association? What is the point of such cooperation?
It’s been 9 years and I’m very happy, because the semen material is with a very high quality, and this is the best invetsment! There are many positive aspects of this cooperation and I have always received assistance from Atanasov and the staff in case of problems.
And do you have any recommendation to us?
Well, maybe only in the context of this livestock exhibition I would like the Association to help us next year to be informed in time and to have the opportunity to organize and participate as exhibitors. This year, everything was announced at the last minute. It would certainly be good for the promotion of the products if we are present as exhibitors and have our own stand here!
In this regard, at this exhibition, which is being held for the 15th time, do you see any development and more meaning from it?
As I said, the organization must be improved.
The organizers are actually state institutions. Do you feel the State as your partner during these years?
No, everything happens extremely difficult and slow. Participation in programs is almost impossible. Future measures and projects are being advertised, and we are all preparing to participate, but in practice it turns out that there are no funds. Due to the deepening labor crisis, all farms need to improve the technological base, but we do not receive any assistance and everyone is doing as well as they can. The administration is very heavy – many institutions, many signatures and documents. The majority of civil servants are incompetent and have no place in these institutions. Constant inspections, due to which we do not have time to pay attention to our animals and production.
Are cattle breeders united? Do they defend their rights together or does everyone just complain without real action?
This guild is extremely divided, and we can be very strong with a little effort! For example, grain producers are extremely cooperative! Apparently our rulers are successfully separating us so that they can govern us more easily and we give in.
Nevertheless, you are successfully developing a farm and a dairy. However, did you have the opportunity to take advantage of a program or did you do everything only with your own funds?
– To my great surprise, I was able to take advantage of funds under sub-measure 4.1 “Investment in agricultural holdings”. When this happened I could not believe that I was in Bulgaria – it was a big surprise! We invested the funds mainly by optimizing the technological base for animal husbandry and land cultivation. That really was a big help!
You have been in this industry for 9 years now. Did you know what you were doing in the beginning and did this decision turn out to be the right one?
Cattle breeding can be very easy in Bulgaria, but why as it can be difficult for us. Without this unnecessary bureaucracy, it will be much easier for everyone and the business will be much more successful. I do not regret the decision at all – I love animals and I like my job very much!
What breeding technology have you chosen?
From the very beginning we have been raising them in a free-stall barn. Our milking parlor is Polish and I am satisfied. Our region is very good for these breeds. The only problem we have is with the hooves.
How do you see yourself in 5 years? What would you like to change?
I want the bureaucracy to be reduced and the Bulgarian farms to be as high-tech as those in the West. Let’s be more united and let the work go. I always explain to my colleagues that it will be much better if we are together and defend our rights, but people are already so lied to, burdened with problems and disillusioned that this will be very difficult to change, unfortunately.
You attend foreign exhibitions and events. Why do you think things are different there?
Because everyone is united behind a common cause and business and most importantly – they have a state behind them!
What would you say to those who are just following in your steps?
I would warn them that it will be very difficult for them not to get involved at all if they do not have iron nerves and their own funds for investment!
Thank you! You were very honest and it was a pleasure for us! We will visit you soon in the village of Borima!
It was also very nice for me and I will be waiting for you!