The UAC Deputy Chairman Denys Marchuk spoke about the gains and losses of the agricultural sector in 2020 in his interview for Comments.ua
The UAC Deputy Chairman Denys Marchuk confirms the opinion that the agricultural sector has suffered less than other sectors of the economy. However, according to the expert’s words, Ukrainian vegetable growers had significant losses during the pandemic, in particular during severe quarantine restrictions.
"Analyzing the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Ukraine's agriculture in 2020, it is fair to say that the agricultural sector has suffered less than other sectors of the economy. The spring lockdown did not hinder the sowing campaign - farmers were able to do best according to lights. Later restrictions (because of the pandemic situation) did not stand in the way of harvesting its export. Vegetable growers were really affected because of the spring quarantine; they were not able to sell their goods in the markets because they were closed. Producers were even forced to throw away products because they could not save them or it was just much more expensive," Denys Marchuk said.
The expert also points out that due to the pandemic, the demand for certain types of products in the country has decreased - vegetables, meat products. People began to save and take a more meticulous approach to the formation of the family budget. This is due to the reduction of incomes of some categories of citizens, and the redistribution of the family budget and the need to allocate more funds for protection.
The unprecedented drought has caused much more damage than the coronavirus
Denys Marchuk also stressed that farmers have suffered much more negative consequences from this year's climate cataclysms. Due to the unprecedented drought, farmers in the South have lost their crops partially or completely. Thus, about a third of all winter crops were lost in the Odesa region. And later - spring crops. As a result, more than 30% of farms from Bessarabia district have already stopped their work.
Due to the lack of moisture, a much lower yield of spring crops (corn, sunflower) was observed in the central regions. As a result, the gross harvest was reduced, which in turn would affect currency earnings income to Ukraine. Frosts, in turn, "hit" the gardens and in 2020 we had much lower yield of stone fruit," the expert continued.
Achievements of the agricultural sector at the legislative level
"At the same time, farmers have had positive changes at the legislative level. Of course, the most significant is the law on the land market opening, which will be launched this year on the 1st of July. We believe that its key provisions meet the requirements of medium and small farmers, which currently cultivate up to 80% of agricultural land in Ukraine. The UAC fought for that during the whole period of the law discussions," the expert said.
According to the words of Denys Marchuk, another important law is on agricultural cooperation, which will allow small and medium-sized farmers to unite, form a large wave of products and look for alternative markets for their products. Also at the legislative level there is a possibility of compensation from the state budget for lost crops due to adverse weather conditions on a non-refundable basis, which was not there before. In addition, funds are provided for a new type of insurance for Ukrainian agricultural producers - income insurance. The VAT rate has been reduced from 20% to 14% on some types of agricultural products, which will help to make all parts of agricultural sector legal and give an opportunity for farmers to save working capital.
"So, we can say that in 2020 the agricultural sector has survived and even has some success, we hope that 2021 will bring us new achievements," the expert concluded.Monday, 18 January 2021