Tractors, cows and energy – the three pillars of Chuvashia

Known as “Russia’s Bavaria” the Republic of Chuvashia is rich in natural resources. However, the region, famous for its agriculture and tractor production, has not managed to escape the global crisis crunch.

Chuvashia has great potential and its economy is based on energy and industry, focused mostly on manufacturing, chemical production and distribution of electric power.

However, after the region faced up with the economic crisis, even their omnipresent heavy industry was hurt.

Chuvashia’s “Promtractor” is the only manufacturer of heavy equipment in Russia, which can even compete with such companies as Caterpillar in the US and Komatsu in Japan.

“We are proud to say that we are at the same or comparable level of technology,” says Vladimir Zakharov, director of exports of “Promtractor”.

Previously, demand for these machines was high but now orders are down. This summer, more than 600 workers were laid off, and 400 more are now working part-time, but the company is still moving forward with research and development and plans to introduce one or two new models.

From factories to farms

Agriculture plays a central role in the Chuvashian economy, with crops and livestock providing up to 14% of the regional output. In addition, the local dairy industry produces 2.5 tons of milk daily.

The milking station in Chuvashia is like a Ritz Carlton for cows. Made up of 24 stations, workers there treat the cows with special care, even playing them music to relax. Yet even the economic crisis has affected it too, with prices and revenues reduced.

Turnover is now down in all areas of industry in the republic. Chuvashia hopes to rebound by making investments in research and developments and by adopting modern technologies, like energy companies in the region are doing.

“The government provides the moderate growth of tariff rates to stabilize inflation now. I can say that, in those circumstances, those companies must continue to provide an uninterrupted and reliable supply to their customers with energy resources,” says Tatyana Kirgizova, from a Chuvashian energy company. “They have to update and renovate,” she added.