Ukraine is conducting the spring sowing campaign, which has involved all regions, including the frontline ones. Denys Marchuk, the UAC Chairman, told about the problems of farmers during a briefing at Ukrinform publication.

"Nowadays, more than 500,000 hectares have been sown in Ukraine. The difficulties of the war have an impact, but the issue of credit limits has also become more acute. This season, grain prices are below market levels. Wheat and corn were sold at prices lower than the world market, and producers were losing money. That is why the industry supported the 5-7-9 program, which has been extended until 2025. The only issue we are clarifying is credit limits, as UAH 90 million is not enough in the current environment to cover the needs of medium and small producers. Credit limits have already been increased to UAH 150 million for companies that have processing facilities. But we see that in order to support the agricultural sector and jobs, it is necessary to increase the limits for other sub-sectors. In particular, livestock farms and dairy farms also generate added value, as is the case with processing. Increasing credit limits would help a lot," Denys Marchuk emphasized.

Booking problems also became more pronounced during the spring sowing season, as the population in rural areas has been actively mobilized since the first days of the war.

"The second immediate issue is the mass mobilization, which has resulted in a shortage of personnel in the agricultural sector. At the same time, due to the complicated and lengthy booking procedure, companies simply do not have time to retain the necessary employees. The active phases of field work have begun, and the bureaucratic booking procedure takes 1-2 months. During this time, a person can be mobilized and his work is counted on by the agricultural enterprise. The UAC supports the e-booking project being developed by the Cabinet of Ministers, which will allow the procedure to be completed in 1-2 days. The booking procedure should be simplified for more efficient work," added the UAC Deputy Chairman.

Unblocking the border with Poland and allowing transit also remains a weak point for the agricultural sector. The losses that producers, processors, and logistics companies have already incurred as a result of the blockade amount to significant amounts.

"Starting from November, we have been experiencing a shortfall in customs duties every month. According to the Head of the Tax and Customs Policy Committee, Hetmantsev, only in March the losses due to non-payment of customs duties amounted to UAH 6.3 billion. This is a huge amount of money for a country at war, and if we take into account the direct and indirect losses incurred by commodity producers, processors, and logistics companies, the figures are much higher. Last week, Ukraine held intensive talks with Poland. Not only at the level of intergovernmental teams, but also specialized agricultural associations were involved. The situation is such that we managed to agree on a number of products that will not be subject to licensing, and this dialogue will continue. But the key issue is transit and unblocking the border. At the meeting, Ukrainian agrarian associations argued their position in the concrete language of numbers. The relevant Polish associations were also constructive. Negotiations will continue in April, and we hope for a reasonable position of Poland," said Denys Marchuk.

According to him, the carry-over of agricultural products will not be significant this season, as Ukraine has already exported 34.5 million tons.

Monday, 1 April 2024


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