NIBULON’s Pride: The story of Oleksandr Mekerov

In 2023, not only Ukraine, but also the world saw the photos of Snihurivska branch, completely destroyed by enemy shelling, overgrown with grass, blackened grain, and mined Ukrainian fields.

Today, we want to tell the story that remained behind the scenes. It is about the person who saved valuable property of the branch and an equally valuable seed reserve in the first months of the war.

Oleksandr Mekerov, who headed the branch since 2019, initially with several volunteers from among the employees and then on his own, practically under attack, rescued agricultural machinery, including new combines, tractors, sprayers, harvesters, and disc harrows. Thanks to his efforts in coordination with the military, most of the company’s equipment was saved. In addition, the entire seed reserve of the southern production branches was stored at Snihurivska branch. Little by little, in small batches, Oleksandr managed to transport it, allowing for the spring sowing campaign to take place in the south.

For his bravery during the full-scale invasion of the aggressor country, Oleksandr was honoured with the “NIBULON’s Pride” award under the “Brave Heart” category.

Here is what Oleksandr himself says about those days,

“You know, it never even occurred to us that the war would really start. We had a lot of work at the branch. There was no time to discuss it. I remember well that on the eve of the full-scale invasion, I decided to stay overnight at the branch so as not to waste time on the way home. And I slept so soundly that I did not hear the explosions from Mykolaiv. At first, we did not understand what to do and how to act. There was a lot of new equipment, grain stocks, and a seed reserve at Snihurivska branch. Machinery from Luhansk region also began to be brought to us.  
I remember that Oleksiy Opanasovych called then and told me to do whatever it takes to preserve the equipment as much as possible.  
Our branch was not under occupation, but it was very close to the front line – just a few kilometers away. During those 100 days when I was evacuating equipment, there were only 3 days without shelling. At first, they were according to a clear schedule, but then they were so chaotic that it made no sense to adapt to them. We were simply evacuating the equipment and grain.  
At first, we drove the equipment to our Bashtanska branch, which was still working at that time. Then we accumulated it in small batches in one of the villages, 8 km from the branch, and then transported it to Bashtanska branch.  
Unfortunately, we did not have time to take out all the grain stocks, but we managed to save the seed fund, which is also very good, considering the dangerous situation.  
It’s strange, but at that time I didn’t feel fear at all. I just had to save the equipment. I didn’t think about anything else. However, now, analyzing the situation, I understand how dangerous it was.”  

Currently, Oleksandr works as an agronomist of Mykolaiv cluster, which consists of 4 production branches, including Snihurivska branch.

“Our deminers have almost cleared Snihurivska branch. We are cultivating the land here and have sown crops. We hope that we will be able to return everything to economic use in a short space of time,” says Oleksandr.

At the link, you can read the story about the team of Bessarabska branch, which was recognized in the “Team of the Year” nomination for high self-organization, motivation, and initiative during the development of the terminal. And here – about NIBULON’s employees, who were awarded for the highest and best indicators in their field.

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Best Employer of the Year in the Socially Responsible Employer nomination
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2017, 2019

Андрій Вадатурський


Андрій Вадатурський став генеральним директором «НІБУЛОНу» після понад 15 років роботи в компанії — в липні 2022 року.

Він прийняв цю посаду після трагічної загибелі свого батька та засновника «НІБУЛОНу» Олексія Вадатурського разом із матір’ю Раїсою Вадатурською під час російського ракетного удару по їхньому дому в Миколаєві.

З 2014 до 2019 рік був народним депутатом України від одномандатного округу в Миколаївській області та членом Комітету з питань аграрної політики. У 2017 році створив і очолив велику міжпартійну групу, яка виступала за розвиток українських річок як транспортного засобу.  

Має ступінь магістра електротехніки Українського державного морського технічного університету та ступінь магістра економіки промисловості Лондонської школи економіки. У 2009 році за вагомий внесок у розвиток агропромислового комплексу України був нагороджений Президентом України, йому присвоєно звання «Заслужений працівник сільського господарства».

Одружений, має трьох дітей.

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