The Ukrsadvinprom public association has called on the Agricultural Policy and Food Ministry of Ukraine to adapt the state-funded program compensating expenses on construction of fruit refrigerators to berry farms, member of the association and founder of Yahidky company producing organic blueberries Oleh Naumenko has said.
“In 2018, we received compensation for planting material in full. However, officials have a misunderstanding of some simple questions… We ask the Agricultural Policy and Food Ministry to hear us and reconsider the program on refrigerators in the direction of adapting it to berry farms,” he said at a press conference at Interfax-Ukraine on Thursday.
According to representatives of Ukrsadvinprom, the criterion of the capacity of this equipment for compensation from the national budget from 500 tonnes, as provided for by the current government decree, should be relaxed to 50-100 tonnes.
“In addition to laying new plantings, you need to think about the storage of fruits and berries. However, refrigeration equipment with a capacity of 500 tonnes and more is used by large enterprises – producers of apples. And for blueberries, currants, blackberries, smaller capacity refrigerators are required,” Director of Horticulture Institute under the National Academy of Agrarian Sciences of Ukraine Ihor Hrynyk said.
Head of Uksadvinprom Volodymyr Pechko said that in 2019, about 15 enterprises are candidates to have compensation for the construction of refrigeration equipment under current requirements.
According to him, if the criteria for equipment are relaxed, about 80 export-oriented enterprises will be eligible for compensation under this state-funded program.
“This will support not only large fruit producers, but also small farms. It will also provide an opportunity of storing berry products for about three months and exporting them not only to neighboring countries, but also to China, as well as to Chile and Argentina,” Pechko added.