1 Nov 2023 11:52

Ukrainian Agrarian Policy Ministry expects vegetable prices to decline in spring 2024

MOSCOW. Nov 1 (Interfax) - Ukrainian agrarians have received about 500 million hryvni as grants for planting gardens, berry fields and vineyards and building greenhouses, over 130 applicants sought the grants for gardening and another 30 for greenhouses, Ukrainian First Deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food Taras Vysotsky said in the national telethon.

"In total, grants [for gardening and construction of greenhouses in 2023] have been approved in the amount of 590 million hryvni. The grants will help plant gardens on about 2,000 hectares. This is a substantial number, considering intensive production. The grants will also enable construction of greenhouses on about 40 hectares," Ukrainian media quoted Vysotsky as saying.

The grants will create about 1,200 permanent jobs and over 17,600 seasonable rural jobs, in particular, for internally displaced persons, he said.

Blueberries and apple and nut trees were the most popular among applicants for garden planting grants, and cucumbers and tomatoes were the most popular vegetables, Vysotsky said.

"We have a rather broad range [of the grant program] - over 10 crops could be planted. These include garden strawberries, raspberries, grapes, sea buckthorn, plums, cherries, and hazelnuts - everything that our climatic conditions allow us to grow," he said.

The greenhouse grants are available for vegetables, berries, flowers and salads, Vysotsky said.

The Agrarian Policy Ministry expects to see the first results of the grant program, launched in 2022, next spring, as the demand from agrarians has been quite high, he said.

"This [...] will slightly level off price differences between seasonal and greenhouse products. We imported a lot of them in the previous years. Accordingly, the price depended on the exchange rate and logistics risks. And here fresh products will no longer depend so much on crossing the border and will be closer to the consumer. This should help reduce the weighted average price of greenhouse vegetables," Vysotsky said.