23.07.2019 14:00

Climate Smart Agriculture Project

Printer-friendly version
23.07.2019 14:00

1.    Are Ukraine’s policies effective in supporting farmers to deal with climate change?

Yes, I think that Ukraine`s policies are effective, maybe not too much for small farmers because Ukraine is different from the rest of the countries almost all over the world.  Most countries are dealing with small farms but in Ukraine agriculture is more industrial that’s why in big agricultural companies there are educated specialists  who know what to do to be effective in dealing with climate change. But of course small farms need additional support from the government of Ukraine.

2.    What problems is climate creating for farmers?

There are many problems. First of all, the high temperature destroys the crop; lack of moisture creates big troubles for different plants so it is always should be taken into account to avoid big losses. Sometimes even not the high temperature but moisture creates big problems. In Ukraine we have several regions where this problem exists and it should be considered in case if you intend to develop farming in that area.

3.    What policies need to be developed and adopted?

We must have a special direction in policy implementation oriented to the climate-smart agriculture. That means that we should create the strategy which provides security for the farmers in case if they grow different kind of crops around the country because we have different areas. In each area situation is different from another one. That’s why it should be taken into account.

4.    Is their support for these policies in government, Verkhovna Rada or the office of the President?

Of course the problem with climate change is being discussed at different levels - on the level of the Government, on the level of the Parliament, on the level of the President of Ukraine.  It depends on the situation which is occurring in different regions. Sometimes we have a very high temperature, sometimes we have lot of problems connecting with swamp. That is why from time to time these questions were taken into account in different state organizations but each time the decisions made were not so much effective. Mostly the government of Ukraine was deciding to provide financing to help the farmers to survive when the problem appeared. We don’t have a long term strategy which provides the security for the farmers that is why these questions remain very important and we have to take it into account. We need long term oriented strategy to be developed by our Government to feel defended from losses appearing because of climate changed.

5.    Is dealing with climate change one of the government’s priorities? Is it a high priority?

No, not yet. Ukraine is located on the territory which is not that much depends on a climate change. That is a big advantage which we have. In general we have no special laws to provide a proper support for the farmers in case they are facing with difficulties which they are not able to overcome. We don’t have that kind of law yet. I think it should be taken into account. We have to approve the law and some other regulatory documents providing long term strategy to help the farmers to survive because every year we have more and more problems connected with the climate change.

6.    One of the most effective ways of dealing with higher summer temperatures and less precipitation in the steppe is to increase area under irrigation.  However, we all know that although there are canals from the Dnipro River there are no pumps from these canals and no pipes to carry the water from the canals to the fields.  What are the regulatory barriers which prevent private investors from putting in pumps and pipes?

We have really a very good solution to avoid dry area appearing in different regions of Ukraine. We have very big source of water, because more than 40 rivers crossing the country and the biggest one is the Dnipro River. All these rivers are a huge source of water supply. All we need is just to pump the water across the fields where we need the moisture to be increased. What`s the problem preventing  investors in utilizing the opportunities to pump the water? First of all, that is lack of legislation. The canals are state property; it is not possible to use it because the government is not providing support for that. To use it without permission that will be a criminal case. Second problem is connecting with an extra cost to implement the pumping strategy. the , it is very expensive to pump the water and there are no subsidies for that. So there are many problems which should be considered on the level of our Government. Some problems should be raised up to the level of the Parliament of Ukraine. So we need the legislation to be approved and of course we need some decisions to be made by the government to use the existing water canals and to increase number of the new ones just providing subsidies for that. Without subsidies it will be not possible to utilize that idea.

7.    Another effective technology is minimal and no till.  Is the Government (Ag Ministry) supporting the adoption of these technologies and if so how?

Unfortunately, the government doesn’t provide any kind of support to approve these technologies  to be used in Ukraine. As I said industrial farming consult itself without governmental interference.  That means that big farms know what to do, and what kind of technology more appropriate to be cultivated.. The government never interferes in this policy implementation. Unfortunately, we don’t have any instruments that provides consultancy to the level of small family farms yet. At that level of course we need some kind of approval because small farmers need this kind of advice as well as subsidies provided from the government to buy the equipment which could be used to realize no-till technology.

8.    What is the FAO Office doing to improve farmer knowledge for more sustainable agricultural practices

To be honest we don’t feel that FAO Office is doing something important to improve farmers’ knowledge about a new safe agricultural technology implementation in Ukraine. Why? Because as I said the industrial farming, especially big agro holdings, have very high level of  digitalization of all the processes implementing in agricultural production including control on moisture and high temperature. They also know what is better to do to succeed in the future.   FAO knows not enough about these technologies, so it should be learned and used for implementation outside of Ukraine.

9.    Farmers will follow market demand for crops, at times at the expense of soil health. What action is the FAO Office considering to ensure farmers take environmental factors into consideration when choosing crops?

As I said we don’t need the FAO Office to give us their support while making the decision. We have very advanced farming implemented by big industrial entities and big agro holdings to grow the crop. They are utilizing knowledge of Ukrainian and foreign scientists. They implementing this knowledge using new digitalized technologies, so I don’t think that FAO Office could provide better consulting even that we already have implemented the unknown technology for FAO officials.

10. Climate change has enabled corn production in northern Ukraine.  What are the other benefits of climate change for Ukraine’s farmers?

It is really truth that corn is grown very successfully it the northern part of Ukraine because of higher  temperature in that region. I mean higher compare to compare with that temperature we had 10 or even 20 years ago. Of course it is very good because the corn is a very good kind of crop which is very profitable to grow in Ukraine. However, there are some other directions which are now being implemented by Ukrainian farmers to be successful . So of course it provides additional profit for the farmers because we don’t need to import the products which had not been grown in Ukraine before. Now we are not importing but successfuly produce it ourselves.

11. Would approval of GMO crops help to deal with climate change?

I don’t think so. What I mean when you grow soy beans you can use the herbicide like Glifosade. So just using one herbicide you become very successful without applying additional ones. So the crop becomes resistant to different illness. But the problem is that there are limited directions to export GMO products. The major consumer of Ukrainian agricultural commodities is China and EU. In these countries GMO products are not attractive especially for the future because they have very strong rules preventing GMO products to be delivered to these countries.

12. What is more effective to deal with climate change – subsidies, tax incentives or a better regulatory environment? Why is this?

Of course the best is subsidies and tax incentives. Regulatory environment of course is important too but not as much as subsidies or tax incentives.

13.  Is Ukraine prepared to cope with climate change?

Ukraine has been producing different kind of crops realizing a very significant climate change impact. We prepared  and we are trying to proceed utilizing new knowledge, new technologies to be successful in the future. I think 20 years ahead Ukraine would be successfully moving without any troubles and obstacles created by climate change.

14. Would an agricultural land market help to cope with climate change?

Yes. If land becomes a subject to sell, it would create additional opportunity to attract investors, because land pledging is a very significant instrument to receive cheap and long term credits from any banks in Ukraine or abroad.

15. Our last question - which group of farms will do the best in adapting to climate change – households, small farms, medium farms or large farms and agro holdings? Why?

Of course for large farms would be easier to overcome the troubles that exist in agriculture. Big farms and agro holdings are utilizing the best technologies and use the best scientific achievements that are implemented in agricultural production.


What is the main hindering factor for agrarian business development in Ukraine?:
Other polls