With the support of European Union and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the Union “Millers of Ukraine” have successfully completed the delivery of buckwheat seeds from Canada to Ukraine. The project, realized under the auspices of the Ministry of Agricultural Policy and Food of Ukraine, aims to overcome the shortage of buckwheat in the current year.
In total, Government of Canada bought and transferred to Ukraine 140 tonnes of buckwheat seeds of Sobo variety from Manitoba province. Seeds have come a long way of 8 000 km to Ukraine: across Canada to Montreal port, and to the port of Bremerhaven in Germany where the seeds had been moved to the customs warehouse and reloaded into trucks to Ukraine.
“As seeds are transferred in the form of humanitarian cargo, we have involved the Charitable Foundation "Kvity", which has the authority to receive humanitarian cargo. The costs for the movement of seeds were covered by Canada-Ukraine Foundation, Muehlenchemie GmbH, the USAID, EU and FAO,” said Rodion Rybchynskyi, Head of the Union “Millers of Ukraine”.
The contributions from EU were done within FAO EU-funded project following the request from the Ministry, as two containers were stuck in the port in Germany. Totally, EUR 9 000 were transferred to cover an urgent budget deficit for seeds transportation.
“We understood that cost increased and each day passed means additional costs at the port where the containers are stored.” said Christian Ben Hell, Head of Agriculture Sector at the EU Delegation to Ukraine. “In order to avoid further expenses and secure the distribution of these seeds in high demand in Ukraine, the European Union used part of the funds available under the contribution agreement between the EU and FAO”.
“According to the FAO analysis, since the beginning of the war the price for seeds, plant protection agents, fertilizers and fuel increased 40–45percent. In the upcoming seasons, producers may determine that standing crops are not profitable to harvest,” added Pierre Vauthier, Head of FAO Ukraine Country Office. “Understanding that, we focus our support on the small and medium-sized farmers. These buckwheat seeds are urgently needed to bolster local agricultural sector”.
The actual distribution of seeds is undertaken by the “International Buckwheat Association”, Skvyra Grain Processing and the Union “Millers of Ukraine”. The seeds will be delivered to the farmers from Chernihivska, Kyivska, Lvivska, Poltavska, Ternopilska, Zakarpatska and Zhytomyrska oblasts.
“Having received these buckwheat seeds we are able to support farmers to sow about 2,500 hectares in the west and center of Ukraine,” explained Rodion Rybchynskyi. “Taking into account the specialization, experience of farms and the quality of seeds, the yield from this area will be at least 2 tonnes per hectare, or 5 000 tonnes of buckwheat grain (3 000 tonnes of processed buckwheat groats)”.
According to Rodion Rybchynskyi, the main condition for farmers’ participation in the seed distribution program is the further transfer of the harvest from the received seeds at a fixed price to specialized processors of buckwheat grain, such as Skvyrskiy and Bilotserkiv Combines of Bread Products. In their turn, grain producers have to transfer processed groats at a fixed price to state and social institutions for humanitarian purposes.