From restaurants to agriculture of future: David Yeremyan talks about smart technologies in his business

David Yeremyan, the founder and director of Yeremyan Projects, opened his first restaurant in Yerevan in 2006. Today his company already has 16 restaurants in Armenia, its own dairy production, cattle farms in Jermuk (Vayots Dzor) and Dilijan (Tavush), and another large farm being built in Tashir community of Lori province.

David Yeremyan told NEWS.am Tech that the company’s restaurants and farms are based on new technologies and smart solutions that increase efficiency and minimize the possibility of errors due to the human factor.

In the beginning was a restaurant

According to Yeremyan, smart technologies became part of the business in 2006. Organizing his first restaurant required a lot of time and effort, and every evening he had to spend 2-3 hours on calculations.

Soon the organization began using a special calculation program, and its efficiency surpassed all expectations. It turned 2-3 hours of tedious calculations into some 10-15 minutes. Moreover, it increased the accuracy of calculations, because the program can not make the typical human errors – it does not get tired and can not be careless.

“Since then, we have started to implement smart technologies, and this has been one of the factors contributing to the development of our company. These technologies allow us to allocate time more efficiently, moreover, they can provide clearer and more accurate information, based on which we can make the right decisions,” Yeremyan said.

According to him, today smart technologies are used practically in all spheres of Yeremyan Projects’ activity, both in restaurants (where many modern technologies are actively used, including CRM systems for automation of customer interaction strategy and increasing sales level) and, certainly, in the countryside. Yeremyan is confident that the latest technologies are really improving efficiency in both areas.

How did the restaurant business and Covid push to create a farm and produce dairy products?

Yeremian Projects’ first livestock farm was built in 2019, and mostly thanks to the restaurant business.

“From the beginning, there was an important principle in our restaurants: to only work with very high-quality products. And in 2017-2018, it was hard to find a large amount of quality products, and we realized that if our restaurants needed those products, we had to produce them ourselves. That’s how the first farm was created,” David Yeremyan said.

In 2020, when the Covid epidemic began and people could not visit restaurants due to the lockdown, problems arose with the sale of farm products. However, the management quickly made a decision: in just one month they did the branding, created logos, packaging, and soon there were containers of sour cream, cottage cheese, cheeses, and other products on supermarket shelves with the recognizable black and white design of Yeremyan Products.

Smart farms where almost everything is automated

Yeremyan Projects’ Jermuk farm breeds purebred Flock, Holstein, Angus and Jersey cows with high-quality genetics imported from Europe, but their care is organized not like in the good old days, but with modern technologies.

The farm uses automated water supply and manure removal devices, as well as a special ventilation system. There are also rubber pads for rest and even a special automatic brushes. The milking parlor is also fully automated. Information about the health of the animals, the amount of feed consumed and milk produced is tracked thanks to the DelPro program.

The feed for the cows is also produced by the company, the wheat is grown in the Armavir province and then transported to the mill in the Aralez community of Ararat province, where it is made from a mixture of wheat, barley, corn, soybeans and sunflower husk in the required proportion, depending on which cows it is intended for.

Recently, the EDB allocated $25 million to Yeremyan Projects for construction of a new cattle-breeding complex in Tashir village. The complex, where breeding cows and pigs will be raised and dairy and meat products will be produced, is planned to be opened in autumn 2023.

The livestock complex will occupy an area of 29 hectares and will consist of farms for dairy cows and sow pigs with a number of innovative solutions and automated systems, a slaughterhouse, land for growing fodder crops, as well as its own storage of fodder and fodder mixes.

According to Yeremyan, the cattle farm is designed for 2,400 animals and is expected to produce more than 30 tons of milk per day.

The complex will be equipped with many smart systems, including an automatic manure removal system, which will be moved from the cowsheds to special pits for later use for soil fertilization.

“The kitchen will also be automated. We have purchased a self-propelled feed distribution machine that collects and distributes a set amount of feed and dispenses it to the animals without errors and problems due to the human factor. We work with 2,000 or more animals, and programs like this really increase efficiency,” Yeremyan said.

The process of milking dairy cows will be automated, as in the Jermuk farm, and the milk will be transported to the Yerevan plant by special vehicles, with a carrying capacity of 30 tons, in compliance with all safety rules.

As for the pig breeding complex, it is designed for 580 sows. Annually, more than 700 tons of local high-quality meat will be produced from 16,500 pigs. Purebred Canadian breeds of pigs imported from Europe, including Landrace, Yorkshire and Duroc, will be kept and bred here.

According to Yeremyan, the company is not yet thinking about exporting its products: the products of the existing and prospective farms are intended to meet domestic demand.

Agriculture of the future: Will we need no more farmers?

As more and more of today’s farm processes become automated, and as robots and software perform many tasks better than humans, it’s only natural to ask whether farmers will be needed in the future.

According to Yeremyan, humans will always be needed. Regardless of how technology develops, it is impossible to automate absolutely all processes; օne way or another, people managing those processes will be needed. Despite automating so many processes, the new Tashir farm will create about 100 new jobs.

Another problem is that modern technology-based agriculture requires different knowledge and skills than those possessed by farmers of previous generations. And finding such specialists today is not an easy task.

According to Yeremyan, it is possible that when the company has as much experience and knowledge in agriculture, as in the restaurant business, they can open a training center similar to Yeremyan Academy, where they will teach not the restaurant business, but intelligent agriculture with the proper application of modern technologies.

David Yeremyan shared his company’s experience in implementing the latest technologies during the SILICON MOUNTAINS 2022 international technology summit held in Yerevan on December 9.

According to him, such events give people an opportunity to exchange ideas, learn from each other and find new ways of cooperation. Whether the participants of the summit will apply the knowledge gained in their activities, listen to interesting advice and take advantage of new opportunities, depends on them.

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