Business news from Ukraine

USAID launches program for 20 Ukrainian agricultural enterprises to develop exports

The USAID Rural and Agricultural Development Program has announced the launch of a program to co-finance 20 Ukrainian agricultural processing enterprises that intend to restore and develop their export potential, the press service of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food reports.

According to the report, the competition is open to non-state (private) enterprises/companies that have export-oriented development strategies and are regular exporters.
The companies can receive co-financing to increase the volume of purchases and processing of raw materials, in particular, by attracting micro, small and medium-sized agricultural producers for long-term partnership. Grant recipients will also be able to introduce new grain processing technologies to increase productivity by at least 25%.

It is expected that with the grant funds, the companies will be able to develop a long-term export strategy and increase sales by 20% through 5 new export channels and markets for processed products and increase sales in foreign markets.

The USAID AGRO program will focus on restoring and strengthening processing capacities to produce value-added products for export, such as corn for feed and food; wheat for food, industrial and feed purposes; rye for industrial and feed purposes; industrial sunflower seeds; high oleic sunflower seeds; soybeans for industrial and feed purposes; varietal and regular cycle seeds.

The donor organization has drawn the attention of applicants to the fact that projects aimed at storing grains, oilseeds and pulses, including receiving, cleaning, drying, storing, and shipping grain by rail and road, are not eligible.

The application deadline is May 31, 2024.

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A large discussion on land reform took place during the Ukrainian Land Forum in Kyiv. Representatives of 490 agricultural enterprises from all over Ukraine took part in this event (of these 115 livestock complexes and 79 thsd of cattle stock). Their total land fund is 4.5 million hectares. The organizer of the forum is the Ukrainian Agri Council (UAC).
Four contestants for the presidency, who gained 65% of population’s votes during the first round of elections — Yulia Tymoshenko, Yurii Boiko, Ihor Smeshko and Oleksandr Danyliuk (represented the team of Volodymyr Zelenskii) arrived to communicate with agrarians on land market establishment. People’s deputies, acting Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine, international experts joined the Forum as well.
Presidential candidates and representatives of their teams expressed their vision of introducing land market in Ukraine.
Alexander Danyliuk, who represented Presidential candidate Vladimir Zelenskii, noted that their team is for creating a transparent land market.
Yurii Boiko has voiced that state support for small and medium agricultural business is necessary when opening the land market.
Yulia Tymoshenko believes that the authorities should create conditions of maximum preference for the development of small and medium agricultural producers.
In Ihor Smeshko’s view the land should belong to the people of Ukraine and be sold only to the citizens of Ukraine. The state’s task ‘number one’ is to support the medium-scale producer.
During the Forum, a deputy head of the Verkhovna Rada Committee for Agrarian Policy and Land Relations Oleksandr Bakumenko presented four variants of the land market establishment, which were developed by the Committee to the Forum.
According to the presented options, citizens of Ukraine only will be able to buy the land. It is proposed to introduce the land market either both for physical and for legal entities, or to do so on a step-by-step basis for several years. The question of hectares to be purchased remains open. In the phased variants it is proposed to provide an opportunity to buy up to 20 hectares to private individuals. And legal entities – up to 200 hectares in the first three years, from the fourth year – maximum 500 hectares, and in the future – up to 20 thousand hectares. Another option suggests in the first three years already to allow the legal entities to buy up to 500 hectares of land, and from the fourth year — to 20 thousand hectares.
During the Forum agrarians could express their view on various aspects of land market establishment by interactive voting.
Thus, the lion’s share of respondents — 66.9% — convinced that competing with holdings, officials and oligarchs for the current land bank will be impossible.
According to the audience, if the land market in Ukraine will be introduced, the right of sale should be distributed on:
– State land and municipal property at first, and then on land of private property — 29.84%;
– the land of private property only — 21.59%;
– the land of private and municipal property at once — 26.03%.
The majority of voters (51,5%) agreed on the idea that private individuals should have the right to buy land at first, and after the end of transitional period this right should gain simultaneously private and juridical entities-agricultural producers whose owners are exclusively private individuals-citizens Of Ukraine. Another 22.46% of voters believe that the right to purchase land should have only private individuals -citizens Of Ukraine. Opinions concerning the maximum size of the land area for agriculture “in one hands” of the private individual divided: 38.51% support “to 200 hectares”, and 34.47% — “to 500 hectares.” Actually, as for the property of legal entities (and related persons). Thus, the maximum size of up to 5000 hectares was supported by 51.52%, and to 10000 hectares — 22.42%.

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