Working visit to Lutsk and Rivne region May 2018

On 2-3 May 2018, the agricultural counsellor Carolien Spaans and honorary consul Andriy Hrynchuk visited Lutsk and Rivne region in western Ukraine. They took the opportunity to meet with the local and regional administration and to visit two companies in the area: Dutch pig farm Girsam and Ukrainian Dutch joint venture Odek, producer of plywood. We would like to thank both companies and the local administration for their hospitality and are looking forward meeting again soon. 

Beeld: NL embassy in UA
Driving into the region in this time you'll pass all the beautiful yellow fields of rapeseed. Combined with the blue sky you can see where the colors of the Ukrainian flag come from.
Beeld: NL embassy in UA

Visit to farm Girsam

About 20 years ago Dutch farmer Eric de Vries took the first boar in the back of his car from the Netherlands to Ukraine to start a pig farm near Lutsk. Now there are 16.000 pigs at the farm and there are plans for expanding. The local administration supports these plans actively. The family also cultivates 3.000 hectares of land on which they grow rapeseed, corn and sunflower.

The main concern in Ukraine at the moment when it comes to the pig sector is the risk of African Swine Fever. The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) reported on 1 February 2018 that since 2012, there have been 326 registered outbreaks of the disease. At the beginning of 2018, the pig population in Ukraine was estimated at almost 6.1 million. A high proportion are held by households and smallholder farms, which are more likely to experience challenges in adopting high biosecurity measures.

Therefore, the workers at the farm of Girsam are not allowed to have their own pigs in their backyard for which they even need a signed declaration. In compensation, all workers receive two pigs per year for the holidays.

For further read; On 8 May 2018 the chain comparison study on the meat sector in Ukraine and the Netherlands was published

Beeld: NL embassy in UA
Farm Girsam
Beeld: NL embassy in UA
Meeting at Volyn Chamber of Commerce

Meeting with local and regional administration

During the two day visit the delegation had meetings with representatives of local and regional administration, as well as the Chamber of Commerce. During the meetings the priorities and potential of the region were discussed as well as the  involvement of the business community through their active Chamber's of Commerce. The honorary consul in Lviv Andriy Hrynchuk has the western part of Ukraine in his working area, including Lutsk and Rivne, and explained his role in supporting Dutch business and investment.

Volyn Regional State Administration and Chamber of Commerce

  • The investment passport of the Volyn region can be found online and in English:

  • During the meeting the following priorities and potential were presented in the agricultural sector: producing organic (goat)cheese, production and processing of fruit & vegetables (strawberries, blue berries, mushrooms, potatoes). In the region they see also a potential for organic production as well as greenhouse production. 

  • In the non agricultural sectors there is an interest in expertise in logistics (railway, bicycle, business centre).

Rivne Regional State Administration

  • For the investment passport of the region, we would like to refer to the Rivne Agency for Investment Promotion
  • Priorities and potential which were presented during the meeting, in the agricultural sector: potato, sugar beet, processing.
  • There is an interest in cooperation in green energy, mainly in hydro power. The region has 2 electric stations which are being underutilized at the moment. Dutch companies active in hydro power can contact for further contact details.
  • Other priorities in the non agricultural sector include processing of wood and logistics.
  • One of the mayor reform in Ukraine is decentralization. The embassy of the Netherlands supports these reforms through different projects, one of them being in ' transparancy in utility companies' , which is implemented in among others Rivne. The model that is being developed within the current Matra project can be used for 40 other cities, as was explained to the Dutch delegation.

Agro - 2018

During Agro-2018 exhibition in Kyiv (6-9 June 2018) all regions will have their own stands. We are looking forward meeting again there, as well as later in the year on our trade mission to western Ukraine.

Beeld: NL embassy in UA
Meeting with Rivne Regional State Administration
Beeld: NL embassy in UA
Production facility at Odek

Visit to Odek – producer of plywood

The Ukrainian Dutch joint venture Odek, founded in 1998, is the largest producer of plywood in Ukraine. With a production of 107.000 m3 of plywood per year, their market share is 50% in Ukraine. The plywood is being produced for both the local market and for export. During the visit the delegation was shown the facility where machinery from different countries are being used for the production. Among them the boilers from Dutch company Kara, member of Partners International Business Bio-energy Ukraine, which helped Odek to significantly reduce the use of gas for the production of plywood.

The company is also responsible for the nearby ' Tunnel of Love'; this tunnel is being formed by trees over a railway track on which the wood is being transported to the company. It has become an attractive tourist destination for both local and international community.

Beeld: NL embassy in UA
Kara boiler at the production facility of Dutch Ukrainian joint venture Odek
Beeld: NL embassy in UA
Hubkiv (Rivne region)

Potential for green tourism

Besides having potential in different economic sectors, the region also provides a lot of opportunities for green tourism, also due to the amount of castles and history that lies in this region. Examples are Lubart’s castle in Lutsk, which is also on the 200 Hryvna note, and Hubkiv Castle in the Rivne region.