Five Ukrainian agrarian associations have merged into the Ukrainian Agrarian Forum

KYIV. Dec 15 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Five Ukrainian agrarian associations have merged into the Ukrainian Agrarian Forum (UAF) aiming to protect the interests of the agricultural sector.

According to a press release of the Ukrainian Agribusiness Club (UCAB), the founders of the new union include the Ukrainian Agrarian Confederation, Agrarian Union of Ukraine, Ukrainian Agrarian Council and Ukrainian Association of Rural and Village Councils.

"The Ukrainian Agrarian Forum has been registered as a legal entity. This is the nongovernmental union uniting five agrarian associations. It is open for joining new members. We will protect the common position of farmers in work with parliamentarians and government members, draw up bills and propose amendments to the legislative base. We are ready to knock all doors and protect if we are not heard," Director of the Ukrainian Agrarian Forum Maria Didukh said.

In the near future, the UAF will sign a memorandum with the deputies of the Verkhovna Rada on the development and reform of the agrarian sector, which will consolidate the directions of development of the agro-industrial complex, in particular, positions on state support, factors of production, price regulation and other things.

The first item in the document is the introduction of changes to the national budget 2018 and the Tax Code. In particular, the agrarians will demand to cancel the amendment abolishing VAT refunds for the export of oilseeds. In addition, farmers will insist on maintaining subsidies at the level of at least UAH 4 billion.

According to the founders of the UAF, the memorandum will serve as a tool to protect businesses from the adoption by parliamentarians of laws and requirements harmful for its activities.

In addition, the UAF plans to become an associate member of Copa Cogeca, an association of unions of farmers and  agricultural cooperatives of the EU, which is the most powerful representative of the interests of European farmers. The UAF members are sure that Ukraine's participation in this organization will help to implement the requirements of European standards and approaches to production in Ukraine.

www.ucab.ua - The all-Ukrainian agrarian forum will become the united voice of the country's agricultural sector

13.12.2017

The all-Ukrainian agrarian forum will become the united voice of the country's agricultural sector

Five public organizations that are working in the field of agro-industrial complex have united in one effective tool - the public association «All-Ukrainian Agrarian Forum» (VAF) - a platform for discussion of common problems of agriculture and the development of consolidated vision of their solution. The objectives of the organization - to submit the common position of the agricultural sector to the authorities and represent the Ukrainian agrarian sector in the international arena.

It was founded by the Agrarian Union of Ukraine, the Ukrainian Agrarian Confederation, the Association Ukrainian agribusiness club, the All-Ukrainian Agrarian Council and the All-Ukrainian Association of village and settlement council. The VAF presentation took place on December 13, 2017.

«We formalized the instrument that in fact existed long ago. Now the All-Ukrainian Agrarian Forum is registered as a legal entity, the public union, which unites under its roof five agrarian associations, but is open to the accession of new members. We will defend the common position of agrarians in work with parliamentarians and government officials, write relevant bills, and propose amendments to the normative framework. We are ready to knock at all doors and protest to be heard» - said Maria Didukh, Director of the All-Ukrainian Agrarian Forum.

One of the first decisions of the VAF - to sign together with deputies of the Verkhovna Rada a memorandum on the development and reformation of the agrarian sector, which will consolidate the directions of agroindustrial complex development, in particular positions on state support, factors of production, price regulation, etc. According to the founders of the All-Ukrainian Agrarian Forum, such document will serve as the tool to protect business from the adoption of laws and norms by parliamentarians, which are harmful to its activities.

According to Mikhail Sokolov, Deputy Chairman of the All-Ukrainian Agricultural Council (VAR), the first point of the memorandum is the introduction of amendments to the budget-2018 and the Tax Code, which will abolish harmful norms, adopted on December 7. In particular, farmers will demand the lifting of the amendment to abolish VAT refunds for oilseeds exports, which in case of coming into force will lead to direct losses for producers in the amount of UAH 10 bln. In addition, farmers will insist on maintaining a quasi-accumulation of VAT at a level not less than UAH 4 bln.

«We will invite political parliamentary parties to sign the memorandum, in which we will outline the requirements of the agricultural sector on the regulation of agriculture and the necessary laws. We will inform all our participants, all farmers that certain political forces signed or not signed this document, that they respectively agree or refuse to support the agrarian sector. Let deputies choose for themselves: they are for oligarchic conspiracies or for honestly and transparently development of our agrarian sector», said Mikhail Sokolov.

In addition, the All-Ukrainian Agrarian Forum plans to become an associate member of Copa-Cogeca - the association of farmers' unions and agricultural cooperatives in the EU, which is the most powerful representative of the interests of European agrarians. Participants of the VAF are convinced that the participation of Ukraine in such organization will increase the status of Ukrainian agriculture in the European Union and will help to implement the norms of European standards and approaches to production in our country.

As Volker Sasse, Team Leader of the Project «German-Ukrainian Policy Dialogue in Agriculture» said, Germany fully shares such views of Ukrainian farmers: «We have been supporting the project of creating an umbrella agrarian association for two years. Such a joint organization will be much better able to represent the common interests of the entire agrarian sector within the state and delegate them to the international level, for example, in the European Union or within the framework of the Copa-Cogeca organization. And if each representative of the agrarian sector has its own specific goals, then the new organization is created to protect the common interests».

Taras Vysotskyi, General Director of the Association «Ukrainian Agribusiness Club», noted that the All-Ukrainian Agrarian Forum will raise the protection of interests of the agrarian sector to the next stage at the national and international levels: «The first and priority goal of the All-Ukrainian Agrarian Forum is creation of united international voice of the agrarian sector of Ukraine. This is an ordinary world practice, when a country in international unions is represented by united front. Historically, our agriculture sector has different segments of the sector that are represented by various associations, but when necessary, we can unite to form a common position. The second goal of the VAF creation is communication with the state. Formation of the united voice of the sector strengthens us and increases the chances of protecting the interests of agrarians both at the national level and internationally».

All five non-governmental organizations, co-founders, are members of the VAF Board and have full economic and financial independence. It is expected that over time the number of associations and business entities that will be part of the VAF will increase, as the Union is free for entering of new members (the decision on admission to the VAF is taken by majority of the board members; the VAF members may be physical and legal entities registered in Ukraine or abroad).

Through the VAF establishing, agricultural associations of Ukraine have created a powerful tool that will defend the interests of agricultural producers in the authorities, promote the productive and social development of the participants, form a favorable regulatory framework for the agrarian sector and the food industry, serve as a platform for the exchange of information and knowledge, will promote the exit of members to foreign markets and establishment of business foreign economic relations.

«While that is only the first step, but I am deeply convinced that we must act as united force, defending our interests at the regional and global levels, because it is precisely in combining the efforts of the widest possible range of representatives of the agrarian sector is our strength and our competitive advantage» - summed up Maria Didukh, Director of the All-Ukrainian Agrarian Forum.

Ukrainian Agrarian Forum

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