Like most development cooperation projects in Ukraine, the focus of the Ukraine Agri-Food Value Chain Technical Assistance (UAFATA) project has pivoted to take account of the war, focusing on awareness-raising and capacity building in the agriculture sector.
- SDG: #8, #9
- SECTORS: Development Consulting
- COUNTRIES: Ukraine
- DONOR: European Investment Bank
- CONTRACT VALUE: €5,994,950
- DURATION: July 2019-July 2023
Given the significance of the agri-food sector for Ukraine and the fact that the majority of players in the sector - farmers, SMEs, mid-caps or cooperatives - are largely underserved by the financial sector, the Ukraine Agri-Food Value Chain TA (UAFATA) project originally aimed to support the disbursement of European Investment Bank (EIB) loans to eligible investments. UAFATA was responsible for ensuring the EIB's €400-million loan was distributed to targeted value chains, the team also provide complementary services to project participants including financial institutions and borrowers. In response to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the EIB repurposed the remaining funds of several of its outstanding loans to provide €668 million in rapid financial support to the Government of Ukraine. As a result, UAFATA shifted its focus to awareness-raising and capacity building among the agriculture sector through a bi-weekly digest of key developments, a series of webinars, and an e-learning platform for agriculture extension service providers.
The UAFATA project prepares bi-weekly information briefs to track the fast-changing situation in the agri-food sector in all important aspects and prepares brief descriptions of the key developments and trends. They are useful for those who want to follow the key news of the agri-food sector of Ukraine but are unable to spend time on constant monitoring of primary sources.
Information is collected from open sources: reports of government bodies, news feeds of information and analytical agencies, reports of companies, etc.
According to Jean-Jacques Hervé, President of the French Academy of Agriculture, Member of the French Board of Counsellors for Trade and Economy, "These [info briefs] are remarkable and very useful for understanding Ukrainian situation in the terrible context of the Russian aggression.”
Agri-business in times of war
In addition, the project runs a series of webinars to reach out to actors in the agri-food sector and provide knowledge and skills to help them orient in the new environment and improve their capacity to succeed. In this series, the the UAFATA team shares information on a variety of topics targeted at agri-enterprises, including:
- how to adjust operations to work more effectively,
- where to find financing,
- how to organise new logistics channels,
- which technology optimisations to choose,
- what changes have taken place in the legislation, and
- how to relocate a business or open an office in the EU.
The primary focus is on agriculture producers, but they are also helpful for other value chain actors, agriculture extension service providers, financial institutions, public sector players, and other stakeholders.
"I am very grateful for today's webinar, where we learned about a system for agricultural producers to register the need to demine fields. There is indeed a low level of awareness among farmers about such initiatives. It is important to talk about the availability of solutions to facilitate demining for small farmers, who work in de-occupied territories, where there is no internet today. If this problem has already begun to be discussed at such a level, then I hope that everything will work,” remarked Nadiya Ivanova, head of “Zoloty Kolos” farm, Mykolaiv region (5,000 ha land bank) following the webinar Demining of arable land: challenges and solutions.
Each webinar is moderated by a UAFATA team member and delivered by invited speakers. The series is structured in such a way that key points are reinforced by case studies. The project orients on the feedback from the audience to pick each new topic.
You can find a link to the webinars on YouTube (in Ukranian) here.
Providing affordable financing to Ukrainian farmers, primarily small and medium-sized producers, is a priority of the Government and the Ministry in particular. There are and will be other programmes for obtaining funding. But practice shows that very often farmers who meet the criteria cannot take advantage of the programs due to lack of relevant knowledge.
Taras Vysotsky, First Deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food
The e-learning platform “eDorada” is aimed at sustainable improvement of the capacity of agriculture extension service providers (AESPs) in Ukraine to serve as finance advisors for agribusiness with the goal of improving access to finance for farmers. On the platform, interested AESPs will be able to improve their knowledge about financing and crediting of agriculture through a training programme “Financial and credit resources for the agricultural industry”. The platform is located at fk.uafata.org.ua.
A leading agriculture university of Ukraine — the National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine — created eDorada in partnership with the National Association of Agricultural Advisory Services of Ukraine with the support of the UAFATA project team.
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