Over the years, Ukraine has seen itself grow in agricultural production. With a healthy population of 40 million people, the demand for food is high. A quarter of its 600,000 km² of land is fertile. This allows Ukraine to feed itself as well as export millions of dollars worth of agricultural product annually.
Over 40% of Ukraine’s exports are agricultural products. Nearly 0.1% of its population is employed in the farming sector. This is all evidence that Ukraine has invested so much in agriculture. Let’s look at some of the characteristics that led to it being dubbed the breadbasket of Europe.
Land Acquisition for the Farmer
The Ukrainian government has made it easy for prospective farmers to start up farming. The process of acquiring a fertile piece of land is easy both bureaucratically and financially. Over the years, millions of dollars have been poured into agricultural development.
The government supports farmers financially in the following ways:
✓ Loan repayment for farmers
✓ Intervention on land leasing programs
✓ Help with livestock production
✓ Provision of loans for farmers
The Ukrainian government went on further to put in place policies that protected foreign investors in agriculture. Some of these policies allowed foreign investors to be safe from financial losses. These may be caused by unforeseen events, natural or human.
If a foreign investor had their investment terminated, they would be allowed to take back their assets. This would be duty-free within six months of said termination. All these measures have seen Ukraine’s agricultural sector growth over the past ten years.
With the Black Sea being positioned where Ukraine can easily access it, it's only a matter of time before agriculture becomes a significant contributor to the nation’s economy. It's easier to export products out of the country.
Huge local market
With the country's healthy growing population, the demand for food has increased. To avoid having to import basic agricultural products, the government turned to grow its own. With the availability of raw materials within the country, Ukraine managed to secure a solid food supply chain. This stretches in some agricultural sub-sectors, from raw materials to retail trade.
Results of Ukraine’s agricultural development
Having invested so much in agriculture, positive outcomes are manifesting. Over the past ten years, agriculture has been booming within Ukraine. Several positive changes have come up. In the larger cities, the food retail sector has seen growth. This has contributed to higher retail employment and support to farmers that sell to these food outlets.
Investors are pouring in, and production is naturally increasing. This is leading to a greater capacity of the country to export products. That's right; the industry has begun showing interest in growing and exporting more exotic agricultural products such as walnuts and berries.
Improved food security
To ensure that agriculture continues in Ukraine, the government put in place food security policies. The goal was to ensure that every Ukrainian is fed. They need all farming and processing to be done according to the acceptable guidelines. Supervision and control of agriculture from farm to fork is done by one main arm of the government.
The benefits of this include significantly reducing administrative procedures. It further assisted in increasing the quality of the inspection procedures on farms and processing plants. The arm is responsible for coming up with requirements that farms and processing plants need to adhere to. Additionally, it is in charge of issuing and renewing operations permits.
In processing plants where employee health is of paramount importance, the government will also intervene to ensure that all requirements are met. This arm performs many more duties—these range from monitoring the type and quality of exported products to staying abreast with disease outbreaks. With the stable state that the Ukrainian food industry is in, it’s safe to say that their initiatives for food security have been successful.
Ukraine is a World Trade Organisation member; it ensures that all its exported products are per-world guideline standards. Its food security policing agents ensure that these standards are met by highlighting what are considered to be violations in the food processing sector. Hygiene is also imperative, with inspectors paying regular visits to production plants and storage facilities.
The production and storage of these products again need to be in registered facilities. As mentioned earlier, food processing companies need permits to be able to process and store their product. Failure to produce a permit is considered a violation. The labels on food products are also one of the things under constant scrutiny.
Failing to inform consumers of the expiration dates and contents of packaged food on the food label constitutes a violation. Many more acts may be considered as violations, and hard work is done to ensure those committing them are held accountable.
With all the work done over the years, it’s no surprise Ukraine has a well-developed agricultural industry. With some agricultural products, Ukraine now boasts the highest export volumes. This has led to financial independence and the ability to develop other sectors of the country. Once food security has been attained, a nation may address other issues like global warming and eco-friendly energy production.
Hopefully, in the future, we will be talking about many other Ukrainian achievements. For now, we can safely say Ukraine has set a high bar for other European countries and continues to shine as the breadbasket of Europe.