The Ukraine Report: Farmers still struggle with finding enough inputs

Farmers in Ukraine cannot find enough inputs and their land is still being occupied by Russian troops.

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

“We have started planting peas. We are trying to make up for the lack of mineral fertilizers, so I included a leguminous crop in the crop rotation. Peas saturate the soil well. This is my first innovation on this farm.”

This is Andriy Shchedrinov, a farmer from Kherson region in southern Ukraine. His farm is now under occupation. The farmer left the seized territory a few months ago and got a job at a farm in central Ukraine. The company has started a planting season.

“It’s too wet, so the guys have to stop to clean the soil from the coulters and now we will continue sowing.”

The planting campaign has recently begun in Ukraine. Traditionally, crops yielding the bulk of grain — corn, sunflower and soybeans — are sown in spring. This year, the cropping plan will undergo dramatic changes.

“So far, we can see a shy of oilseeds. Mainly sunflower, soybean, and rapeseed will increase. We also see that area of corn may be between 3.5 and 4 million hectares. In general, we anticipate the , sowing area will be around 19 million hectares of grains and oilseeds, which is more or less the same in the previous year.”

The ongoing war and associated challenges are impeding the sowing campaign.

USAID AGRO stepped in to help with the supply of sunflower seeds and fertilizer.

“With fertilizer prices high, small farmers will not buy them. This leads to a decrease in the area under the main crops. Furthermore, yields will decrease as well. Hence, there will be less grain. Why sunflower? Because it is a rather marginal crop.”

This program is designed to provide about 7,000 Ukrainian agricultural producers with the resources they need.

“The initiative will focus on farmers operating close to the border, military operations area and those most affected by the war: starting from Odesa region, eastwards along the border and up to Chernihiv region.”

Relocating land resources is impossible, so agricultural producers stay in high-risk regions and continue their work, occasionally stopping while missiles are in the air or while sappers clean mines from the fields. This is the present-day reality and farmers are seeking a way out.

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.