Ukrainian farmers whose land is currently occupied and whose farms have been nationalized by the Russian authorities are waiting for liberation and the restoration of their agribusiness. Legislation needs to be prepared for this now. A participant of the UAC talks about the problems that de-occupied farms are facing.

Ivan Samoityuk is the Head of the farm in Zaporizhzhia region that is currently fully occupied. Before the war, the company cultivated 3,200 hectares, growing grains, oilseeds and vegetables.

"In March 2022, the Russians kidnapped me, then took the enterprise, and put an armed guard around the workers. Later, they carried out a "nationalization" and appointed an authorized person to dispose of the property. The farm had significant reserves of fuel, seeds and plant protection products - the Russians used them for themselves, harvested the crops and disposed of them at their discretion. After 11 months, I was released from captivity, and I had no way to re-locate the equipment and any assets. We are waiting for the liberation of the territory and are striving to restore the enterprise," says the Head of the farm.

Ivan Samoydiuk uses his own company as an example of the difficulties that await all the liberated companies. 

"The first thing I will face when I get my farm back is the Tax Service, which will demand payments. Because the main tax for agricultural producers is fixed. Secondly, the land in our region is heavily mined, and there is virtually no funding for demining. Today, farmers are responsible for the entire demining problem. Thirdly, I will return the farm without working capital and any fixed assets. Even what has not been stolen will be seized by the bank, because we had an outstanding loan at the beginning of the war," saied the farmer.

According to him, only one of the banks was loyal enough to the company and offered to extend the loan debt for 1 year at 0.01%.

"It is out of the question to restore de-occupied farms without the possibility of prolonging pre-war loans on preferential terms for at least three years. Even under the current conditions of the 5-7-9 program, the destroyed enterprises will not be able to get back on their feet. They need a specially designed bank loyalty program," Ivan Samoityuk is sure.

Today, all state programs for the restoration of the de-occupied territories are focused on the restoration of the social sphere, healthcare, education, and self-government body.

"I want to assure you that if agricultural enterprises are not restored, there will be no need for schools, hospitals, or kindergartens. First of all, it is necessary to restore real production, and people will return there," summarized the Head of the occupied farm.

Tuesday, 14 November 2023


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