6 Mar 2023 09:35

USAID to invest $44 million in development of Ukrainian agricultural holdings

MOSCOW. March 6 (Interfax) - The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has announced cooperating with three Ukrainian major agricultural holdings in order to develop their grain export and storage infrastructure, the total amount of investments in the project will reach $44 million.

The holdings in question are Ukraine's large agricultural producers Kernel, Nibulon, and Grain Alliance, Ukrainian media outlets said citing the CNN's website.

Cooperation with the companies will help increasing Ukraine's capacities to deliver grain in the amount of over 3 million tonnes per year to external markets, the press said. Investments will be directed to the development of the infrastructure of agricultural product storage and expansion of grain elevators.

As reported, before the crisis, Kernel was the world's first producer and exporter of sunflower oil making up about 7% of the world production and about 12% of export, respectively, and Ukraine's largest producer and seller of bottled sunflower oil. In addition, the company was growing and selling other produce.

Kernel swung to a consolidated net loss of $41 million for the financial year which ended in June 2022, from profit of $506 million a year previously. Its revenue decreased 5% to $5.332 billion, and EBITDA 72.2% to $220 million.

On April 15, 2022, Nikolayev-based Nibulon, one of the largest operators on Ukraine's grain market, received from the Izmail City Council in the Odesa region a construction permit for a terminal for transshipment of grain cargo on a 20-hectare plot of land.

Nibulon was established in 1991. Prior to the crisis, the grain trader had 27 transloading terminals and compounds to receive agricultural crops, capacities for simultaneous storage of 2.25 million tonnes of agricultural products, a fleet of 83 ships, including 23 tow boats, and owned Mykolayiv Shipyard.

Nibulon cultivated 82,000 hectares of land in 12 regions of Ukraine and exported agricultural products to more than 70 countries before the crisis.

In 2021, the grain trader exported 5.64 million tonnes of agricultural products, an all-time high in its existence, by breaking a record of supplies to external market in August (0.7 million tonnes), the fourth quarter (1.88 million tonnes) and in the second half of the year (3.71 million tonnes).

The Grain Alliance agricultural holding acquired a grain logistics hub by the border between Ukraine and Slovakia in the spring of 2022 to transport agricultural products by land routes bypassing the Ukrainian ports. The transshipment capacity of the company's grain hub in Slovakia's Cierna nad Tisou will reach up to 400,000 tonnes per year.

Prior to the end of February, Grain Alliance operated on 57,000 hectares in the Kiev, Poltava, Chernigov, and Cherkassy regions, harvesting more than 300,000 tonnes of grain and oilseeds per year, and owned over 1,000 cattle.

The agricultural holding owns six grain elevators with the total capacity of over 260,000 tonnes in Ukraine. Grain Alliance, a joint company, was founded by Harvest Moon East Ltd, based in Baryshevka, Kiev region, and Sweden's BZK Grain Alliance in 2009.