The government support for building berry refrigerators by agricultural cooperatives is ineffective and will not be effective without a permit to compensate the cost of imported equipment, Head of the Ukrsadvinprom nongovernmental organization Volodymyr Pechko has said.
He said that the initiative of the Agricultural Policy and Food Ministry to permit compensations for imported refrigerators for agricultural cooperatives would not improve the situation with refrigerators, as cooperatives are not peculiar for this sector.
“To use the program, producers should unite in a cooperative, and this is very complicated. People cannot agree on whose territory a refrigerator is built,” he told Interfax-Ukraine.
As reported, Ukraine’s Agricultural Policy and Food Ministry plans to permit compensations to agricultural cooperatives for purchase of refrigerators for berries and fruits. The Cabinet of Ministers will consider the appropriate changes in the rules of using funds on government support to the agricultural and industrial complex in the near future.
Earlier, Ukrsadvinprom 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. 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, they said.
Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada has passed an amendment to the Tax Code, according to which the excise duty on fruit and berry wines is reduced to UAH 0.01 per liter, Head of the Ukrsadvynprom association Volodymyr Pechko has said. “The Verkhovna Rada reduced the excise duty on fruit and berry wines and equated it to the excise duty on grape wines. Previously, it was equated with liquor and vodka products. This industry was dilapidated when there was ‘draconian’ legislation. And now the conditions are optimal to resume production of fruit and berry wines,” he told Interfax-Ukraine.
According to a comparative table, the tax rate on non-sparkling wines with 1.2-15% ABV will be UAH 0.01 per liter.
According to the head of Ukrsadvynprom, the parliament also agreed on changes, according to which, new producers of wine products will be considered the fourth group of taxpayers using the simplified taxation system.
As reported, the Cabinet of Ministers has increased government support for hop growing, laying of young gardens, vineyards and berries, from UAH 300 million in 2018 to UAH 400 million in 2019.
Ukraine in January-September 2018 exported fruits and berries in the amount of $157 million, which is 40% more compared to the same period last year. According to the Ukrsadprom association, the main products in this group were walnuts, which were delivered for $69 million, frozen fruits and berries worth $61 million, apples and pears for $10 million.
“The growth in exports of walnuts (from 13,000 tonnes in the first nine months of 2017 to 20,000 tonnes in the same period of the current year), apples and pears (from 9,000 tonnes to 29,000 tonnes respectively) was the most notable in natural terms,” according to the website of the association.
The main sales market remained the European Union, supplies to which bring about two-thirds of all foreign exchange earnings. In January-September 2018 the largest purchases of fruits were made by Poland ($32.3 million), France ($11.7 million), Belarus ($10.9 million), Turkey ($10.6 million), the Netherlands ($8.8 million), Germany ($7.4 million), and Italy ($7.2 million).
“If not to take into account imports of exotic fruits to Ukraine (mainly citrus fruits and bananas), for the three quarters of 2018 the surplus of foreign trade in fruits and berries reached $75 million,” the association said.
Ukrainian apples are exported to more than 50 countries, while they are mainly purchased by Belarus (43%), Moldova (20%), and Sweden (10%).
Ukraine in the first half of 2018 exported fruit and berries worth $100 million, which is 59% more than in the same period of 2017. According to the Ukrsadprom association, the main products in the structure of exports remain walnuts worth $64 million, frozen berries for $23 million, apples and pears for $8 million. “Compared with last year, the volume of walnut exports increased from 12,000 to 19,000 tonnes, apples and pears from 6,000 to 24,000 tonnes, while the deliveries of frozen berries decreased slightly from 17,000 to 14,000 tonnes,” the report says.
The main buyers of Ukrainian gardening products, according to the association, are the countries of the European Union, which account for more than 60% of the value of exports.
“In the six months, the largest fruit supplies in monetary terms from Ukraine were made to Poland for $11.2 million, France for $9.9 million, Turkey for $9.3 million, Belarus for $8 million, Germany for $5.1 million, Greece for $5 million and the Netherlands for $4.7 million,” the report says.
As noted, Ukrainian apples are mostly delivered to Belarus (46% of the value of supplies), Moldova (21%), and Sweden (10%).
The fruit and berry harvest in 2018 could exceed the last year figure by 10-30%, Chairman of the Ukrsadprom association Dmytro Kroshka has said. “With favorable weather conditions, gross harvest of pomaceous, drupaceous fruit, berries and nuts in industrial farms could reach the average figure of the past years – 400,000-500,000 tonnes. The 2018 harvest could exceed the last year figure by 10-30%,” he said at a press conference at Interfax-Ukraine on Tuesday. Weather is the main risk factor. Kroshka said that this year blooming this year is quick due to high temperatures and some fruit and berries are ripening quickly. In addition, simultaneous expansion of depredators, the high likelihood of hail and not enough moisture in soil (twice less) would also affect the volume of the harvest.
Director of the Berry Nursery Brusviana Liliana Dmytriyeva said that the Ukrainian market is specific. In particular, the share of berries planted at farms is from one third to one fifth, while the rest is planted in households.
“At present, the leader in planted areas in Ukraine is black currant – around 50% of all areas of agricultural companies. Strawberry occupies 20-24% of the market and raspberry – 13-14%. Areas with blackberry occupy 13% of total areas, according to the State Statistics Service, while other sources said that it is 24%,” Dmytriyeva said.She also said that areas with sea-buckthorn, honeysuckle and alpine strawberry are swelling. Leaders in production of berries of all types are Dnipropetrovsk and Donetsk regions, in production by agricultural companies – Vinnytsia, Volyn, Zhytomyr and Khmelnytsky regions. She said that the largest number of companies planting berries was created in these regions.
The new type of business is being developed in Ukraine: planting of berries “in tunnels.” “This allows preventing the influence of some cold factors and having early harvest. Berries “from tunnels” are more expensive than those planted in fields, but it allows placing Ukrainian products to the shelves of retail stores for a longer period of time,” the director of the Berry Nursery Brusviana said. The experts do not expect a significant reduction in prices in the market and among the main factors that may affect them, are: a significant increase in the area under berries, a rise in the price of crop protection products and fertilizers by almost 30% compared to 2017, as well as exports.
“The presence of competition, on one hand, should reduce the price, but on the other hand: there are natural negative factors that will affect the harvest. Most enterprises were not oriented to “fresh” or to domestic markets, so a significant increase in areas would not entail increased competition in the domestic market,”, Dmytriyeva said.
As for the supply of Ukrainian products abroad, Europe remains the most popular market.
“The most expensive and popular market is Europe, in particular, Great Britain, Germany, but to get to this market you need to incur certain costs for both fresh berries and frozen ones. Many enterprises plan to do this, but not everyone is ready,” she said.
In addition, Ukraine is also interested in the market of the Middle East. The market of neighboring countries, in particular, Belarus, is traditional.
In turn, the chairman of Ukrsadprom said that this marketing year, Ukraine exported apples to one of the new markets – the UAE.