The Ukraine Report: War explosives are still present in some farmer’s fields

Demining efforts are underway in Ukraine where farmers struggle to make the most of their fields with war explosives still present.

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

Vyacheslav Kubrak has worked as a tractor driver for Nibulon since 2000. He leases his land plot to the company. After the russians were forced out of Mykolaiv region, the company started demining the fields of its shareholders for free. Vyacheslav’s fields were among them.

The situation with demining is still uncertain for the rest of the farmers whose land plots are contaminated with unexploded ordnance. The cost of demining is unaffordable for small growers — it is about $2,500 per acre.

There’s no field that hasn’t been shelled. All the fields are covered with pits and unexploded munitions. We get help with demining so that we can work and work in the fields.

Maksym Sovetkin, the Head of the Demining Department at Nibulon, says the company is committed to helping nearby farmers with demining.

Today, we are certified operators of manual demining and clearing the area of combat operations. We have managed to conduct a non-technical survey of more than 13,000 acres of land. 90% of them will be safe for growing crops in the near future.

Our mission is to return agricultural land back to farming. So that we and other producers can contribute to the fight against hunger worldwide.

Working in these fields was extremely dangerous as they were overgrown with tall weeds and every step was a risk. Powerful equipment is helping with the demining.

New crop will be harvested this year on Vyacheslav Kubrak’s plot, which has already been cleared of explosives. He drove the tractor himself across the demined area. At first, it was a bit scary, he admits, but he is now relieved and excited that Ukrainian land is gradually coming back to life.

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.