Sunday, December 4, 2022

Ukraine boasts biggest harvest since independence

by Alexander QueryDecember 21, 2021 8:42 pm
A combine harvester harvests wheat in a field in Ukraine. The country harvested a record 100 million tons in 2021, due to favorable climatic conditions. (stanvpetersen/Pixabay)

Ukraine harvested 106 million tons of cereals, legumes, and oilseeds in 2021 thanks to favorable weather conditions. It is the biggest harvest the country’s ever had since its independence in 1991, according to Roman Leshchenko, the minister of agriculture.

The record harvest included more than 84 million tons of cereals and legumes, as well as 22.6 million tons of oilseeds. According to Leshchenko the harvest exceeded the ministry’s preliminary forecast, estimated at 100 million tons for the year. 

“This is the absolute maximum in the history of our state,” Leshchenko wrote on Telegram on Dec. 21.

According to Leshchenko, the successful harvest was also due to this year’s states loans to farmers, accounting for $1.1 billion in total to boost the industry. Ukrainians started buying and selling land this year, as the 20-year moratorium on land transactions was officially been lifted on July 1, 2021.

With 42 million hectares of farmland covering 70% of the country and about 25% of the world’s reserves of black soil, agriculture is Ukraine’s largest export industry. 

Officially, large agro-corporations operate on 6 million hectares, small and medium agro-companies — on some 11 million hectares.

The harvest alone will bring 0.8% to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), according to the National Bank’s report released in October 2021. In 2020, Ukraine’s agriculture sector generated roughly 9% of its GDP.

Ukraine’s agribusiness sector remains the most promising sector of the economy. 

Ukraine exported 17% more agricultural products between January and September 2021 than in the same period of 2020. 

The country exported roughly $18 billion worth of agricultural products, up by $2.6 billion compared to 2020, according to the State Statistic Service of Ukraine.

China was the largest importer of Ukrainian agricultural goods this year, accounting for roughly $3 billion of exports, a 36% increase compared to 2020. India imported $1.35 billion worth of agricultural goods, followed by the Netherlands with $1.2 billion.

Alexander Query
Alexander Query
Business reporter

Alexander Query is a business reporter at the Kyiv Independent. He is the former business editor at the Kyiv Post. He worked as a TV correspondent and an anchorman at UATV in Ukraine, and received a BA in modern literature from La Sorbonne, in Paris.

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