14:07 19.02.2024

Sustainable agribusiness brought together agrarians from all over Ukraine at international conference in Kyiv at Agrovesna

7 min read

On February 14, Kyiv hosted special event for Ukrainian agricultural community - international conference: Sustainable Agribusiness: "Traditions. Niches. Eco-practices. Technologies.

The conference was organized and conducted by the agro-media agency Sapienza.media with the support of specialized associations: Ukrainian Fruit and Vegetable Association (UFPA) and the Association of Amaranth and Amaranth Products Producers.

For 5 years in a row, Sapienza has been holding traditional conferences on "Increasing Profits in Agribusiness" as part of the large-scale agricultural exhibition AGROWESNA. This year's conference at the Kyiv Exhibition Center brought together more than 200 leading Ukrainian farmers.

 "Why do we hold our traditional Open International Conferences? To allow people to communicate in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere, to exchange ideas and experiences, to find new contacts that will strengthen you, that will recharge you and inspire you to new results and achievements! This is especially important in such a difficult time - to develop, to work no matter what! Today we have 20 speakers, more than 100 participants have registered, some of them were under occupation, some partially lost their business, some recovered only by 30%! But we are all united by the main thing - let's keep going, don't stop, don't give up, develop agribusiness together!

This is a gathering of professionals, tireless workers who are moving Ukraine forward and contributing to Ukraine's food security! It is thanks to the Armed Forces of Ukraine that we are able to organize such events. And we are inspired by your tirelessness, dear producers and farmers. And we will continue this tradition of conferences to not only restore but also develop Ukrainian agribusiness according to the best standards of quality and sustainability in order to strengthen Ukraine's food security no matter what," says Kateryna Zvereva, founder of the agro-media agency Sapienza.

"We cannot avoid the war factor in the development of fruit and vegetable production in Ukraine, and the impact it has on the fruit and vegetable sector, and indeed the entire agricultural sector. It can be stated that over the past two years, it has affected the fruit and vegetable sector to a lesser extent than the grain sector, but it certainly has an impact.

I hope that we have temporarily lost virtually the most important regions for production and storage, especially of vegetable products, and I am talking about the south of Ukraine. Both the areas and infrastructure for storage and processing of these products, as well as the source for irrigation, we are talking about the Kakhovka Reservoir. This is not a significant loss - it is an irreparable loss for this region, nature, and the environment as a whole.

However, it can be stated that in 2022-2023, Ukraine almost completely managed to replace in terms of gross production of fruit and vegetables, especially vegetable crops, what was lost in the south of Ukraine quite quickly. And even melons, which were not associated with Kherson, were quickly and successfully replaced by other crops in almost all regions of Ukraine," said Taras Bashtannik, director of the Ukrainian Fruit and Vegetable Association, during the conference.

Paul Chibai, a Canadian specialist in cooperative development, shared his unique experience of the cooperative business model and its resilience in times of crisis.

"Ukrainians have been very active in creating cooperatives in every sector of the economy in Canada. Cooperatives provide stability in times of crisis. This has been proven over and over again in our history. It's simple math. Being a single producer has little effect.

But together, we have much more stability and influence on the market, on the regulations that the government gives us, and on the influences that the government has on business.

And because there are so many producers-there are thousands-and the cooperatives themselves can be interconnected. This gives the model stability in times of crisis. There are also a lot of studies that have been done when cooperatives go through crises, such as the one in 2008. There is a lot of evidence that cooperatives not only withstood these crises, but also moved to new production models," says Paul Chibai.

Ihor Vishtak, Director of the Agricultural Development Department of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine, spoke about the state support for sustainable agribusiness in Ukraine.

"The Ministry of Agrarian Policy, together with international experts, has developed an order on best agricultural practices to implement European aquis. This order was signed in January 2022.      

It provides examples and principles for applying primarily mineral fertilizers in areas that are vulnerable to nitrate ingress into groundwater. It is mandatory for use. Currently, due to the martial law, no control measures are being taken. We understand that conditions for farmers are already difficult. But this order exists, and after the end of martial law, we will monitor its compliance.

On the one hand, it means certain restrictions, and on the other hand, it means taking care of the environment and all living organisms, including human health.  Also, our Ministry, together with the State Service of Ukraine for Food Safety and Consumer Protection, has developed legislation on waste management in organic production, and adopted a number of regulations that also bring us closer to the European Union," added Ihor Vishtak.

In addition, all attendees had the opportunity to learn about unique and relevant information from Ukrainian scientists, experts and practitioners of the agricultural market.

Oleksandr Duda, Chairman of the Association of Amaranth and Amaranth Products Producers, spoke about the healing properties, integrated approach to growing and processing amaranth in Ukraine, as well as a wide range of products made from amaranth and new promising developments during the conference.

Mykhailo Nagornyak, the author of the new unique variety, a well-known Vinnytsia-based breeder and director of Mnagor, told the conference guests about the blue and yellow sugar corn from Ukraine that has made a splash on the global market.

Oleksandr Yareschenko, Deputy Director for Research at the Institute of Horticulture of the National Academy of Agrarian Sciences of Ukraine, spoke about niche berry crops and opportunities for producers to cooperate to increase profits.

Elvira Nimchuk, a representative of the BioNorma Group of Companies, will talk about the latest technologies and solutions that can help producers improve the quality of their products and increase their yields.

Viacheslav Polishchuk, Head of Horticulture at Ukravit, will present the best domestic plant protection products and services for sustainable production.

Mykhailo Soroka, Director of AGROMOMM (Dnipro), shared an example of successful use of innovative technologies in the garlic industry in the market of ameliorants.

Leonid Fadeev, Director of Fadeev Agro and author of the Strong Seeds technology, shared the secrets of the innovative seed production technology with the audience.

Vladyslav Razkevych, Head of Eucalyptus R, shared his experience of how to get generous harvests while saving production resources.

Oleksandr Doynikov, Managing Partner of Viteo Group (Viteo Hemp), spoke about technical hemp, an extremely useful plant that has an incredible number of necessary qualities that can be successfully used in many areas of life.

Sofia Burtak, Head of the Board of the Rural Women's Business Network, spoke about the successful experience of Ukrainian cooperatives.

The participants heard about innovations in agricultural production for sustainable development and sustainable agribusiness practices from Anna Danyliak, an expert in agricultural greening at the NGO Ecodia.

The conference was moderated and hosted by Vira Chupia, Head of Information Projects at Sapienza agro-media agency.

The conference was supported by the We Prosper Entrepreneurship Development Project for the War-Affected Population in Ukraine, implemented by the Agricultural Advisory Service and the Rural Women's Business Network in partnership with the SOCODEVI NGO, funded by the Government of Canada.

The conference organizers are grateful to the leading agricultural media, economic and analytical agencies for their information support: Agroexpert, East-Fruit.com, Interfax-Ukraine, APK-Inform Agency, Agri-gator.com.ua, Exclusive Technologies magazine (Agrotimeteh.com.ua), Agribusiness Today and Agronomy Today, Multisectoral Platform "Healthy Nutrition in Ukrainian", Platform "Mission - Health: Together for Active Longevity", Seeds.org.ua.

Interfax-Ukraine is a media partner