Ukrainian potato support program aims for import substitution
Published: September 24, 2021
In 2021 Ukraine will have a state support program for the development of the potato sector.
Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine, Roman Leshchenko, made this statement in his opening speech for the All-Ukrainian Potato Day. ‘The purpose of this program is to support potato growing, and to show examples of efficient management, value added, and development of modern infrastructure. The main goal we set ourselves is import substitution’, Leshchenko said. He added that the state will support farms which take risks and make significant investments in the development of their material and technical base, using various channels to raise funds.
Innovations and new practices necessary
On August 26-27 the All-Ukrainian Potato Day “Potato Blockchain-2021” welcomed about 600 guests in Chulakivka (Kherson, Ukraine). Among the 60 participating B2B companies and organizations with a connection to the potato chain, seven Dutch companies were present, the Dutch Agricultural Ministry states in its regular updates for the Agrofood sector. ‘Ukrainian potato growing is making great strides towards strengthening itself, but also in order to take its rightful place in sustainable development, to have great prospects for the future, it is necessary to introduce innovations and new practices into its work’, said Reinoud Nuijten, the Agricultural Counselor of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, adding that the event, initiated by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Ukraine, has been supporting the development of industrial potato growing in Ukraine for 11 years.
Unite to solve problems and ensure food security
The Director of Adelaida Farm, Sergei Rybalko, pointed out that the hot climate in the Kherson region is a challenge for potato growers. ‘Here you will not see huge harvests, superpowers of potato varieties. Every day we fight for the potato harvest, work on it and water it. The purpose of our demo field, with 76 potato varieties from 8 breeding companies planted on June 30, is to find varieties suitable for growing in the South in the second, summer turn. This experiment is a real effective help, an invaluable experience for producers in the Southern region’, Rybalko said, promising that the farm will, later this year, share its yield information with colleagues.
The Office of the Agricultural Counsellor of the Netherlands Embassy in Ukraine officially supports the All-Ukrainian Potato Day. This year’s edition provided an overview of the demo field, seminars and a trade fair where companies presented their products and services, from plant protection products and machinery to technologies. For the first time a negotiation panel was held, and the event theme, “Potato Blockchain”, was brought to life in the form of a quest for knowledge regarding industrial potato growing, during which producers could sell knowledge to B2B companies in return for ‘potato cryptocurrency’.
Unite to ensure food security
Denis Statsenko, president of the Ukrainian Association of Potato Producers, called on producers to make more active use of all opportunities for communication and networking during the event. ‘The natural reduction of potato growing by households poses new challenges to the potato industry: we need to increase the volume and quality of potatoes grown. We must unite to solve this problem and ensure the food security of the state’, he concluded.