The Ukraine Report: Farmer gets the help he needed through a charity project

A farm-focused charity is helping small farmers in Ukraine manage the impacts of the ongoing war.

Latifundist Media has partnered with us to provide boots-on-the-ground coverage.

“Until February 24, everything was running and humming here. We were planting, building, buying machinery.”

This is farmer Oleksandr Normyrovskyi from southern Ukraine. His farm was occupied in the first days of the war, so he fled to the Ukraine-controlled territory. In fall 2022, the Ukrainian army liberated these lands from the Russians. What did he see when he returned home?

“The fields were burnt or mined. The farm and equipment were completely destroyed. See for yourself. 420 acres were demined and planted with sunflowers. After the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant’s dam was blown up, 90% of fields were flooded.”

Oleksandr applied for assistance from the FARMERHOOD charity project, which supports small Ukrainian farmers in the de-occupied territories and war-affected areas.

On the day of our visit, the farmer received financial assistance from the project, which he will use to pay for the land lease. The majority of applications from farmers are for seeds and plant protection products. The types of assistance also include vouchers for fuel, construction materials, and extension services.

Who is helping Ukrainian farmers? Farmers and agricultural companies from all over the world are the ones who have a deep understanding of the challenges and pains of their colleagues, says the project founder Kateryna Konashchuk.

“Many Ukrainian farmers have stayed on their land and keep working, trying to survive by all means. Many of them have already used up all their resources and need help. The state is helping as much as it can at its level, but this is not enough. They need someone who can understand them. And this is primarily a farmer. We believe in the farmer’s brotherhood and the power of the community.”

Through the FARMERHOOD platform, anyone can review the needs of Ukrainian farmers: their stories, photos, and needs. The farmer’s data is pre-verified through a compliance check.

Donations can be made individually or to the General Fund, and US donors can get a satisfaction guarantee.

It was the American colleagues who were the first to respond to assist their colleagues from faraway Ukraine.

Our partners, the American company EarthDaily Agro, talked to American cooperatives such as Land O’Lakes and Cargill. They came up with the idea that we should start with the US market, as brotherhood is particularly developed in this market, and it is American legislation that encourages help and donations.”

Currently, the FARMERHOOD website has more than 400 applications from Ukrainian farmers who hope to receive support to complete the planting season and not miss the upcoming production season. The project has already raised almost $200,000 in aid for small Ukrainian farmers, but the needs are much higher.

Even a small donation will allow them to feel understood and supported; not to lose faith in the goodness and brotherhood of farmers.

That report was powered by Latifundist Media, with USAID support provided through Agriculture Growing Rural Opportunities (AGRO) Activity implemented in Ukraine by Chemonics International. For more information, visit their website or follow them on social media.