The Ukraine Report: Farmers are still in search of ways to work post war

It has been over twelve months since Mykolaiv region was de-occupied. And local farmers are still in search of ways to work.

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

“Out of 500 acres, we still have more than 125 acres mined. A quarter of our farmland is still inaccessible. We are slowly trying to clear the mines on our own, but it is a long and dangerous process.”

There are no plans to demine other areas here yet, as the Emergency Service experts have forbidden it because the territory is heavily contaminated. During the occupation, the farmer was forced to move west with his family but returned home as soon as the area was liberated.

“After returning home, there was euphoria at first, and then the realization that we had to start all over again because the fields were mined, the warehouse was destroyed, and the grain was stolen. By some miracle, almost all the machinery is still there.”

It is incredibly challenging to be a farmer in the de-occupied territories. There are many factors that complicate the work. Growers had to buy all the planting material again. They had to save on some things.

This year, the farmer chose to reduce the cost of fertilizers because he could not afford to buy them. War brings people together. Seed, fertiliser and crop protection suppliers do what they can to help, deferring payments and helping to keep farmers on their feet.

But it is almost impossible to get financing from banks because the company is listed in the red zone. This is where charity projects like FARMERHOOD step in.

The foundation takes care of small Ukrainian farmers in the de-occupied territories or areas affected by hostilities and keeps helping farmers.

“I explained my situation, everything that had happened to my business and decided that we needed to talk about it, that information needed to be spread. I started thinking about how to find a foreign farmer and started playing chess online with people from different countries. This helped me raise funds from FARMERHOOD. And now I am provided with fuel.”

With their help, the farmer received about $3,000 for fuel. The funds seem modest, but the situation is so complicated that they are raising money bit by bit.

The FARMERHOOD project manager believes that small farmers from 10 to 500 hectares are in the most vulnerable situation, so they are the focus of the project. I don’t know where our farmers get their strength, but despite everything they stay on their land and try to survive by all means.

They use absolutely all their resources. They need help. We believe in the farmers’ brotherhood, the farming community. All farmers are united by their working conditions and challenges. So, farmers who can help, support those in need.”

Basically, through the FARMERHOOD platform, anyone can look through the requests of Ukrainian farmers - their stories, photos, and needs.The farmer’s data is subject to a preliminary compliance check.

The Foundation primarily appealed to American farmers, because even though we live in different parts of the world, we share a love of the land. Now, a person from any country can contribute to making sure that Ukraine’s agrarians survive.

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.