The agricultural policy in Ukraine is focused on supporting development of small and medium-sized businesses in the rural areas, including farms and agricultural cooperation. Thus, over the past year, the number of active agricultural service cooperatives has grown by 125 units and today there are 735 of them.
“Consolidation of producers into cooperatives is an effective form of doing business, because cost optimization opens up many prospects for expanding production, and as a result – it increases profits. Since last year, Ukraine has been implementing the state program under which 70% of the cost of purchased equipment is reimbursed to the cooperatives, 6 agricultural service cooperatives have already benefited from this program, 2 of which are newly established cooperatives,” commented Viktor Sheremeta, Deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine.
Thus, the state support was provided to the dairy and fruit cooperatives for purchase of storing and processing equipment of the agricultural goods in the amount of more than UAH 8,5 million.
As a result, three dairy cooperatives (in Volyn, Ivano-Frankivsk, Cherkasy oblasts) purchased 286 units of equipment necessary to produce hard cheeses and three cooperatives of fruit and berry directions (Zakarpattya, Ternopil and Chernihiv oblasts) purchased 16 units of equipment for primary processing and storage of fruit and berry products (cooling and deep freezing).
“For sure, the number of co-operatives that benefited from the government support is small. Therefore, I urge the farmers to follow the example of their colleagues, who have checked their effectiveness by themselves. Business is always a risk, but the goal of the state support is to reduce this risk to a minimum,” said Viktor Sheremeta.
He added that the Ministry of Agrarian Policy is engaged in an active dialogue with the representatives of agrarian associations to find joint solutions to improve the principles of the state support. Thus, for agricultural service cooperatives, activity areas for which they can receive state support were now expanded by adding vegetable cooperatives that involved in harvesting and processing of berries, mushrooms and plants and beekeeping. In addition, 70% of the cost is compensated not only for Ukrainian equipment, but also for equipment that is used for transportation of the agricultural products.
According to the deputy minister, by using the state support those cooperative upgrade their material and technical base in production. With skillful management, this will provide an increase in the production of value-added products.
“Value-added products, in turn, increase the domestic market with high-quality food and expand the country's export potential. In addition, the creation of new and expansion of existing cooperatives creates additional jobs, which has a positive effect on the social standard of living of the local population, ”concluded Viktor Sheremeta.
Compared to January 1, 2018 out of 735 operating agricultural service cooperatives there are: Dairies - 186 (+44), for tillage and harvesting - 162 (+16), meat producers - 35 (-16), fruit and vegetable - 113 (+ 34), grain - 41 (1) and for the provision of other services - 198 (+46).
Press Service of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine