Insights into the Ukrainian seed industry during war

"Ukrainian farmers, like all Ukrainians, are going through genuinely tough times, and their resilience is admirable. Through our work and taxes, we help our nation stand against Russia. We stand for support, cooperation, and healthy competition."

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Cover page of Seed World Europe

by Marcel Bruins November 13, 2023

When Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 Feb. 2022, the biggest attack on a European country since the Second World War began. Now, more than 600 days after the invasion, it is easy to overlook all the regular seed related developments that are also happening in Ukraine. To find out more, Seed World Europe spoke with Siuzana Grygorenko, Executive Director of Seed Association of Ukraine.

Seed World Europe (SWE): Siuzana, can you share a bit about what is going on in your country? How is the war impacting the Ukraine seed sector?

Siuzana Grygorenko (SG): The full-scale war has transformed the entire agricultural sector of Ukraine with no exception. Its proper functioning is hindered greatly by both mined and occupied territories, ongoing mass shelling, the lack of electricity and infrastructure damage. All of those directly impact logistics capabilities, crop preservation, and the search for trade routes and exports.

Despite the challenges, Ukrainian farmers continue to operate, seeking solutions and often working without profit. The agricultural sector is a major source of foreign currency earnings for the country, and now it requires support, assistance, and cooperation with partners. Everyone understands that this challenging period must be endured, to harness potential and resources, and to work towards our shared victory. Nevertheless, the unpredictability makes any long-term planning and forecasting impossible. Therefore, on one hand, there’s an intensified effort to boost domestic processing and attract investments; on the other, there’s a constant need to adjust plans and actions to the shifting realities.

According to Forbes, since the onset of the full-scale invasion, the export of Ukrainian goods has decreased by 35 per cent. This is due to a general reduction in production, with some areas under occupation or rendered unusable; fewer trading partners, blocked logistics routes, reduced production volumes in some cases, and restrictions placed on Ukrainian grain imports. Previously, the EU imposed limitations on importing Ukrainian agricultural products to several neighbouring countries, which adversely affected the reputation and led to losses for producers, and consequently, the economy.

Amidst these changes, including political ones, EU countries also face challenges. However, this remains a united front for freedom against tyranny. The strength lies in the trust and dialogue amongst partners.

Read full article with the amswerts to:

  • How is the war impacting the Ukraine seed sector?
  • Ukraine adopted the new Euro-integration law regulating seeds and varieties. What will now be changing for the Ukraine seed sector?
  • Ukraine Parliament adopted a new GM law. Can you explain a bit more about that law, and how does the Ukraine seed sector feel about it?
  • Ukraine Parliament adopted a new GM law. Can you explain a bit more about that law, and how does the Ukraine seed sector feel about it?

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