2023-2024 - Agricultural study tours for Ukrainian Veterans in the Netherlands

Rehabilitation and agricultural knowledge transfer in the Netherlands for further reintegration of the veterans in Ukraine.

Ukrainian veterans in the Netherlands

The Netherlands support Ukraine in various ways, providing humanitarian, economic and military aid. Among the focus areas of the Dutch Government in Ukraine there is support of Ukrainian private sector and integration of the veterans in economic activities with the help of Dutch technologies, knowledge and business network.

On the initiative of the Office of the Agricultural Counsellor of the Embassy of The Netherlands in Ukraine, with support of the Dutch Government and Netherlands For Ukraine Foundation the project on the introduction of the Ukrainian veterans, who currently in the Netherlands for medical treatment, to the Dutch agricultural practices has been developed.

UA veterans in NL

Many Ukrainian veterans are young people, some of them either already have agricultural experience and cultivate their own land plots or consider starting agricultural production when they are back home, to provide for their families and contribute to economic activities of their local communities. 

Rehabilitation of the Ukrainian veterans in the Netherlands takes a while and the veterans expressed interest to use this time for obtaining knowledge in the advanced agricultural practices in AgriFood and Horticulture sectors, which they can further use in Ukraine. 

Moreover the company visits, foreseen in the framework of the project, contribute to the mental health and reintegration of the veterans to their further professional and private life despite the terrible wounds they got defending Ukraine from russian aggression. 

UA veterans in NL 1

1st study tour. Focus on Dairy

The first company visit of the project took place to the dairy farm Boerderij Het Lansingerland  ( LinkedIn) nearby Rotterdam in December 2023.

Peter Gille , CEO of the Boerderij Het Lansingerland, made a tour for the group. Veterans showed sincere interest in the subject and asked a lot of questions. The dairy sector in Ukraine is mainly represented with the farms which are much larger than the average Dutch dairy farm, however family farms are currently developing and get support from the local government and international donor programs. Family farms contribute to local food security and earning capacity in rural areas of Ukraine.

UA veterans in NL
UA veterans in NL

Peter inspired visitors with the ideas and a wider way of business thinking.  He explained the visitors not only the basic farm management processes, including feeding, animal health monitoring, but also the structure of the dairy sector in the Netherlands, taxation, profitability, as well as market price for raw milk and dairy products.

We are so much grateful for a warm welcome and hospitality to Peter Gille! Appletart is lekker!

UA veterans in NL

“When the farm is properly arranged and all equipment is working smoothly there is no need in many workers. However in view of our disabilities there are some tasks we will not be able to do ourselves. This means that we can hire local people to help and these are jobs created.”

Gewonde frontsoldaten komen tot rust tussen de bloemen in Warmenhuizen
Foto: NH Media

2nd study tour. Focus on floriculture

In March the 2nd study tour Ukrainian veterans took place, they visited DutchFlora. The visit was organized by Netherlands For Ukraine Foundation and The Leeuw Kyiv Foundation with support of the  Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Ukraine.

Ukrainian veterans in NL DutchFlora
Beeld: https://www.nhnieuws.nl/

In March the International Women’s Day is celebrated in Ukraine and the cut flowers from the Netherlands are usually of high demand in Ukraine. At the same time cooperation between the Netherlands and Ukraine in the floricultural sector is not limited to the cut flowers, it also includes supply of wide range of planting materials, technologies and equipment for open field and greenhouse production.

Ukrainian veterans in NL DutchFlora

The veterans and their family members have been introduced to the entire growing process of the tulips, from storing, planting and up to the sorting and packaging for further dispatch.

The representatives of DutchFlora provided answers to the numerous questions from the veterans about floral business in the Netherlands and international cooperation.

Please follow the link to read the article (in Dutch) and watch video about the visit.

Two years ago many veterans used to have ordinary civilian jobs, then, after full scale invasion in Ukraine, they learned how to be soldiers and got their military specializations. They have open minds and learn very fast. All participants of the study tour admitted that it was a very useful visit and they actively  joined the planning of the further study tours within to project.

The positive feedback is very inspiring, so we go on. In case you would like to take part in the project and invite the veterans to you farm or facility, please contact Kateryna Volianska greenvolia@gmail.com