April 24, 2017

25/04/2017: Ukraine: a future agricultural frontrunner?

by Christophe Palletier

This month I have had the privilege to visit Kiev for the very first time to see first-hand something of Ukraine’s agricultural industry
Christophe Palletier

In a country with more than 4272 million hectares of productive land and a population of only 42.5 million people, agriculture makes up a major part of their GDP.

In a system where land cannot be bought or sold, the farming companies have to negotiate leases from the freeholders - who usually own very small parcels of land.

The local landowners who individually own very few acres seem very willing to lease their share to some very major corporations, some of who have turnovers running into billions of dollars.

The country itself is rapidly developing its very significant rural economy to rank ‘top 10 exporters of foodstuffs worldwide.

Its major customers being China, India, Turkey and the EU, outside of which it still remains. 60 percent of its production comes from two regions, Mykolaiv and Potava, with maize/corn, wheat and barley being its main cereal based crops, all responsible for some 60 million tonnes per year.

Potatoes however, are the main vegetable crop along with sugar beet and vegetables.

It can be believed that with improving road and logistics, this country will become even more influential in the world’s agriculture economy.

As well as producing crops, livestock has a major influence - with poultry the main product, annually producing about 1144 million tonnes of which 7 percent is for export, with pig production taking second place at 760 million tonnes, most of which is consumed at home.

Unlike the western palate, fat meat is sought after. Because of the countries land borders and large-scale intensive units, disease spread is a major problem.

This is compounded by a lack of bio-security with many workers having a few pigs at home and a large wild pig population. African swine fever is a major problem, which hopefully will be abated with the help of geneticists who are looking for the health gene, successful vaccination programmes along with increased bio-security.

This in addition with the uptake of correct disposal of dead and diseased animals, the outbreaks can be limited and arrested.

Not to mention the training of staff, which plays a key role in any successful control measures in raising awareness, control and prevention.

Read the full article, HERE.

The Global Miller
This blog is maintained by The Global Miller staff and is supported by the magazine Milling and Grain
which is published by Perendale Publishers Limited.

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