CEI Fund at the EBRD supports joint EBRD-FAO initiative to promote sustainable farming in Ukraine
Ukraine enjoys a major role as a global grain producer and exporter and still has a considerable potential for growth. By 2020, wheat exports from the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan and Ukraine are estimated to be approximately double to that of the United States. However, Ukraine has not been able to fully realise its production potential due to a number of constraints, with financing being only one of them. Increased production and export of grains would constitute a source of additional export revenues, but farmers in Ukraine lack knowledge about technologies that could improve agricultural productivity.
In this framework, the CEI Fund at the EBRD (contributed by Italy) has supported a joint EBRD-FAO initiative to mobilise the private sector and help the country's farmers increase their skills and knowledge of best practices through a CEI-funded technical cooperation project worth EUR 265.000. This TC focuses on providing training for grain farmers in Ukraine.
The training combined theory and practice: it included several classes at Sumy National Agrarian University as well as field visits to experimental farms, seed companies and research institutes.
“For Ukraine, agriculture is not only important to produce food, but also to develop our rural areas,” said Professor Volodymyr Ladyka, Rector of Sumy National Agrarian University. “The project provides farmers with the necessary technological skills and know-how of fertiliser use, crop protection and economic efficiency.” “Offering distance learning was extremely important, too”, he added. This helped farmers study even during the busy farming period, according to their own schedule.
Supporting investments in agro-processing, marketing and distribution is a priority for the CEI Fund at the EBRD financed by Italy. Inter alia, It supports agriculture and agribusiness in general through technical assistance or development programmes aimed at increasing competition, market expansion and the transfer of skills in the sector. Focus is also given to industries with strong backward linkages as well as to supporting emerging successful locally-owned agribusiness companies. The promotion of innovative and more efficient technologies in agriculture to counteract the adverse effect of climate change is also a priority. Eligible projects may also include assistance in the application of EU standards and regulations (including food safety and good quality standards), assistance in the application of geographical indications for locally produced food products, and promotion of rural and environmentally sensitive tourism.