The Ukrainian Agri Council (UAC), with the support of the USAID Agriculture Growing Rural Opportunities Activity (AGRO), is implementing a joint project to provide legal and other expert support to agricultural producers affected by hostilities or temporary occupation by the russian federation.
According to the Kyiv School of Economics, the direct losses of Ukraine's agricultural sector amount to almost USD9 billion. The agricultural sector of Luhansk, Kherson, Donetsk, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia, Sumy, Chernihiv, Zhytomyr, Mykolaiv and Odesa regions suffered the greatest losses.
"Our common goal is to ensure that each affected agricultural producer is able to resume its operations and move on as soon as possible. Farmers affected by the hostilities or temporary occupation will be able to receive free legal advice, as well as assistance in documenting losses and forming an evidence base for crimes which were committed against farms. These activities will be funded by the USAID AGRO Program, and qualified lawyers of the Ukrainian Agri Council will work directly with farmers," said Ksenia Sydorkina, USAID AGRO Program Director.
Thanks to the project, affected farmers will receive individualized advice on land, agricultural, tax legislation, etc. A hotline tel. +38 067 503 19 08 will be available for prompt legal support.
"We have to collect all your problems, bring them to the state authorities, and solve them. The main goal of our project is to move from plans and talks to action. It includes regional meetings, training webinars on documenting war crimes and assessing the losses caused by them, legalizing appeals to government authorities; demining and clearing the territories and lands of agricultural enterprises; land reclamation and restoring soil fertility; solving tax problems, debt restructuring, etc.", explained Dmytro Kokhan, the UAC Deputy Chairman.
The farmers will also be informed about the assistance programs implemented by the state and international donors.
This is the second project implemented by the UAC with the assistance of the USAID AGRO Program to support affected agricultural producers since the beginning of the war. The previous cooperation resulted in the creation of mechanisms for recording agricultural losses - a methodology and an interactive map of agricultural sector destruction, the innovativeness of which was recognized at the SID US-2023 International Innovation Competition in Washington, DC. Thanks to the developed methodology, agricultural producers were able to quickly document the damage without any assistance. Currently, 584 damaged objects have been recorded on the interactive map of destructions. In addition, last year, more than 200 agricultural producers received legal assistance, 53 companies were able to obtain loans for the sowing season and continue their operations, and 150 agricultural companies managed to unblock tax invoices. It is expected that under the new cooperation even more agricultural producers will be able to receive qualified legal support in solving urgent issues for recovery.
The USAID Agricultural Growing Rural Opportunities Activity (AGRO) Program is a program of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), implemented by Chemonics International. The goal of the program is to accelerate economic development in Ukraine's most vulnerable rural communities by improving agricultural sector governance, which will lead to the development of more productive, modern, and profitable micro, small, and medium-sized agricultural enterprises (MSMEs). The objectives of the USAID AGRO Program are to improve productivity and market access in targeted value chains, and to improve support functions and the regulatory framework in the agricultural sector. The USAID AGRO Program will help increase agricultural MSMEs' incomes and access to finance and create a fair and transparent agricultural land market in Ukraine, which will reduce corruption in the agricultural sector. AGRO Facebook page.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is the lead development agency of the United States Government. USAID has been working with Ukraine since 1992, supporting Ukraine in strengthening its resilience to Russian aggression and advancing its democratic and economic development. Currently, there are 42 USAID programs in response to Ukraine's immediate needs and long-term development goals as an independent, sovereign, democratic, and prosperous country. Since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion on February 24, 2022, USAID has provided $24.9 billion in total assistance to Ukraine, including $2.8 billion in humanitarian assistance and more than $2.3 billion in development assistance.Wednesday, 27 September 2023