Ukraine’s agriculture sector is the country’s third largest economic sector and provides 20% of the country’s employment. In spite of excellent growing conditions, Ukrainian agriculture is hindered by comparatively low yields and productivity. The bulk of production comes from the small and medium farms which cultivate 65% of agricultural land.
In the horticulture sector, small and medium farms produce the majority of the country’s fruit and vegetable yet remain disconnected from markets and isolated from supply chains. By modernizing production and post-harvest handling capabilities and by linking small and medium enterprises to markets, Ukraine could significantly boost agricultural economy and rural employment.
Over the next seven years, the Ukraine Horticulture Business Development Project (UHBDP) will expand and extend the achievements of the “Ukraine Horticulture Development Project”, which MEDA implemented between 2008 to 2013. UHBDP will operate in the Southern Oblasts of Zaporizhzhia, Kherson, Mykolayiv and Odessa and will seek to benefit 44,000 small and medium horticulture farmers and small enterprises. MEDA anticipates that small farmers assisted by UHBDP will have collectively expanded their horticulture sales to 50,000 metric tons valued at $ 40 million annually by the end of the project.
Key components of the project include:
Market Development: Extend and expand capabilities in the horticulture value chain
- Link small holder farmers to higher value markets through aggregation techniques
- Improve production techniques and technology and facilitate supplier relationships
- Improve post-harvest handling capabilities: produce cleaning, grading, sorting, packaging; traceability; food safety and quality assurance; cold chain storage, transport and logistics
Workforce alignment: Aligning university level experience with capabilities demanded in an entrepreneurial market
- Improved alignment of competencies of college-educated entry level workforce to horticulture industry needs
- 140 university students benefit from internships and short term work experiences
Access to Financial Markets: Improve access to investment and finance options by building connections with Private Equity and Investment firms
Leverage an Innovation Fund: Comprised of (i) financial incentives to promote new technologies and capabilities, (ii) matching grant business plan competition, and (iii) financial guarantee structures to encourage investment in viable medium enterprises and financing rural horticulture enterprises.
Project Quick Facts
Goal: Extend and expand individual firm capability and the horticulture value chain through capacity development, linkages to markets, and improved market relationships between market actors.
Reach: 44,000 women and men operating in the horticulture value chain as small and medium farmers, agri-businesses and small and medium enterprises.
Funding: UHBDP is a public private partnership with contributions from Global Affairs Canada (GAC) and MEDA.
Project length: 2014 - 2021
Project undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada provided through Global Affairs Canada