Business news from Ukraine

World Bank allocates $550 mln to support Ukraine’s agricultural sector

The World Bank has announced the allocation of $550 million to help more than 90,000 farmers in Ukraine access concessional loans and grants for agricultural production.

The “Emergency Project of Inclusive Support for the Restoration of Agriculture in Ukraine (ARISE)” will facilitate access to concessional financing for agricultural producers in 2023 and 2024. The project will help farmers mobilize about $1.5 billion in working capital,” the WB said in a statement on Tuesday night.

It is specified that the financing of the ARISE project consists of a $230 million loan from the World Bank from the Trust Fund for Providing Ukraine with Necessary Credit Support (ADVANCE Ukraine), supported by the Government of Japan. The financing also includes a $320 million grant from the Ukraine Recovery, Rehabilitation and Transformation Trust Fund (URTF).

“The innovative design of the project envisages attracting additional financing of up to $150 million, when such funds are available from the World Bank and donors,” the release says.

“The ARISE project will help thousands of Ukrainian farmers, many of them small, continue to produce in what will undoubtedly be a very challenging environment in the coming months,” the statement quoted Antonella Bassani, World Bank Vice President for Europe and Central Asia, as saying.

The WB recalled that the total cost of damage to the Ukrainian agricultural sector from Russia’s invasion is estimated at $40.2 billion, and it has likely increased since the last Rapid Assessment of Damage and Recovery Needs was published in February 2023. This figure does not take into account the demining of farmland, damage to irrigation systems, losses to agro-logistics, and losses to food processing companies, the bank added.

The ARISE project will be implemented by the Entrepreneurship Development Fund and the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine. This is the fifth World Bank project approved for Ukraine this year under an innovative and flexible framework model. It provides for the rapid mobilization of partner resources to finance urgent needs, and such financing can be expanded as needed when additional funds become available.

Next year, the World Bank and the Government of Ukraine will focus on critical reforms and investments in priority sectors, including energy, health and social protection, education, housing rehabilitation, and agriculture, the release said.


Ukraine and Denmark sign memorandum of cooperation in agricultural sector

Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food Mykola Solsky and Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries of Denmark Jakob Jensen have signed a memorandum of understanding between the agriculture ministries of the two countries, the press service of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy reported.

“The signing of the memorandum is aimed at long-term strategic cooperation to improve the efficiency and sustainability of food production and agriculture,” the statement said.

According to the document, the parties will exchange information and experience in the field of green transition of agriculture and food systems, including joint policies and climate solutions; in the field of food safety and food security.

Ukraine and Denmark are also interested in the prospects of livestock development, including management, animal welfare, animal health, animal breeding, feed and organic farming.

Ukraine and Denmark will set up a joint working group to identify areas of cooperation.

Solsky thanked the Danish government for its support and assistance. According to him, Danish farmers have been successfully developing their business in Ukraine for the past 15 years. They are not deterred by the war in Ukraine.

“Denmark is one of the examples of agriculture in Europe and the world of how to be efficient and profitable. And an example of very high technology. We are interested in investments and in a greater presence of Danes in Ukrainian business. This is a good experience, an extremely high-quality approach, something we would like to learn from, something we want to follow,” the Ukrainian minister emphasized.

In turn, Jensen expressed confidence in the effectiveness of cooperation with Ukraine in the agricultural sector.

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Losses of Ukrainian agricultural sector from war reached $40.2 bln

During the war, direct and indirect losses of the agricultural sector reached $40.2 billion, but these are not the final figures, as Ukrainian territories are still under temporary occupation, so it is difficult to calculate the full extent of losses, said Oleksandr Haidu, chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Agrarian and Land Policy.

“Confirmed direct losses of the agricultural sector exceeded $8.7 billion. We are talking about the destruction of infrastructure, business facilities, logistics chains, destruction and theft of grain and agricultural machinery by the enemy. There are also indirect losses of at least $30.5 billion. Unfortunately, this is not the final figure. When we accurately calculate the damage caused by the enemy’s explosion of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power station, the amount will be much higher,” the MP said on Wednesday at the conference “18 Months of War. Damage to the agricultural sector and prospects for the industry’s recovery”.

According to him, it is difficult to assess the consequences of contamination of agricultural land with explosives, destruction of the upper layers of soil due to “arrivals” and explosions during demining.

“We see that a large area is mined. Potentially, 174 thousand square kilometers of Ukrainian land are contaminated with explosives. And this is without taking into account the temporarily occupied regions,” the MP noted and informed about the preparation of the draft law “On the Quality of Soils”.

Gaidu also emphasized that the state cannot cover the needs of the affected farmers on its own and promised to engage international partners to support the agricultural sector.

“I emphasized the expediency of differentiating programs for farmers. After all, the needs of farmers are very different. For example, those farms that operate in the de-occupied territories cannot attract investment because financial institutions are mostly unwilling to cooperate with them. Although they are the first to return to their places after the liberation of the region to resume their activities and fill local budgets,” he wrote on Facebook.

The chairman of the relevant parliamentary committee believes that one of the mechanisms for compensation for the damage could be “grain reparations,” a mechanism that would help farmers receive compensation for destroyed businesses.

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Map of destruction of agricultural sector of Ukraine has been created

On November 3, the All-Ukrainian Agrarian Rada (VAR) public organization, with the support of the US Agrarian and Rural Development Program (USAID), launched an interactive map of the destruction of the agricultural sector in Ukraine, created to demonstrate the real damage caused to the industry by Russian aggression.
As reported on the VAR website, the disclosure of such information can help Ukrainian agricultural producers record the war crimes of the Russians against the Ukrainian agro-industrial complex, which have inflicted over $6 billion in direct losses since the start of the full-scale aggression.
According to the organization, the interactive map posted on the resource will become a reliable source of data for the world community, potential investors and government authorities of Ukraine.
During the presentation, the head of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Finance, Tax and Customs Policy, Daniil Getmantsev, said that the resumption of Ukraine’s agricultural sector after its victory over the Russian Federation should bring it to a higher level, while it is important to record it in detail in order to compensate for the damage.
“We must understand how and how much to collect damages from the aggressor, have a clear legal mechanism that will be acceptable for conducting cases in international courts. So, we urgently need to record the destruction in order to collect the necessary evidence to recover funds from the aggressor after our victory” , – VAR quotes Getmantsev.
According to the organization, the interactive map is designed to document damage and crimes in the interests of the farmers themselves, since the information posted there will be seen by international organizations that make political decisions to support Ukraine. At the same time, it is important that private investment and charitable foundations have access to this information, which will be able to find potential enterprises on an interactive map for further targeted assistance in their restoration.
It is specified that the Vkurse Agro project became the technical developer of the map. The map is bilingual: information is presented in Ukrainian and English. The portal provides opportunities for searching and downloading data, photo materials of destruction for each farm, displays information about damaged land plots, land reclamation facilities, crops, etc. A simple algorithm has also been developed for adding new objects, it is possible to use feedback.


UN: War losses to Ukraine’s agricultural sector range from $4 bln to $6 bln

The losses inflicted on the agricultural sector of Ukraine as a result of the war amount to $4 billion to $6 billion, representative of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Viktoria Mykhalchuk has said.
“Preliminary estimates from June indicate that the losses inflicted on the agricultural sector as a result of the war are between $4 billion and $6 billion, including damage to infrastructure such as irrigation equipment, storage facilities, shipping and processing infrastructure, greenhouses, field crops, and farm animals,” Mykhalchuk said at a briefing at the Ukraine Media Center in Kyiv on Friday.
She noted that this year, according to FAO estimates, Ukraine expects to harvest up to 51 million tonnes of grain.
“Given the areas that were directly affected by the war, only 61 million tonnes of the total of 75 million storage facilities are physically accessible. Some 14% are damaged or destroyed, and 10% are located on the territory occupied by Russia,” Mykhalchuk said.
According to her, of the available storage facilities, 35% remain filled with 22 million tonnes of grains and oilseeds, which are awaiting export.
“That is, only 65% of the storage facilities are available,” the FAO spokeswoman explained.
Mykhalchuk said that FAO is also working with the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine on alternative ways to export grain from Ukraine.
“One of the alternative ways that we are currently supporting is exporting through Romania and helping the Izmail laboratory to increase its capacity so that certification takes place much faster and, accordingly, the number of exports, possibly through these borders, increases,” she said.


Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Ukraine asks government to stabilize agricultural sector

Ukrainian agrarians need urgent support in replenishing working capital, prolonging loans and settling relations with retail chains, because due to the enormous debt to processing enterprises, agricultural producers cannot purchase raw materials and grain from farmers.
A corresponding appeal to Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal with a proposal to hold a joint meeting to find solutions to prevent negative trends in the grain market was sent on July 20 by members of the agro-industrial complex entrepreneurs’ committee at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) of Ukraine, according to the website of the organization.
“It has never been as difficult as it is today for farmers. The situation needs state intervention due to a number of problems: there are ultra-low purchase prices, lack of storage facilities, slow logistics, retail debt,” the Chamber of Commerce and Industry quotes its member, first vice- President of the Association of Farmers Viktor Sheremet.
According to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, due to the blocking of Ukrainian maritime logistics, hostilities, higher fuel prices, shortage of working capital and lower prices for agricultural raw materials, a significant reduction in winter crops for a new crop is expected.
“Probably, the current crop of corn will remain under the snow,” the organization stressed in the appeal.
In addition, this year a serious challenge for farmers will be the purchase of seeds, fertilizers, fuel, the preservation and export of grain, a number of enterprises and farms are expected to go bankrupt due to the loss of access to export products and the challenges facing the agricultural sector of Ukraine.
“Given the threats that complicate the situation on the market, following the results of the discussion of industry problems, the meeting participants decided to appeal to the Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmygal with a request to hold a joint meeting with interested ministries and departments, business representatives, industry associations, donor organizations to consolidate efforts to search for effective solutions to ensure the organization of the harvesting campaign, storage of grain, autumn sowing and activation of exports,” the Chamber of Commerce and Industry concluded.