1 Nov 2023 16:28

USAID AGRI to provide Ukrainian farmers with fertilizer for spring sowing campaign

MOSCOW. Nov 1 (Interfax) - The United States government will provide 7,000 Ukrainian agricultural producers with mineral fertilizer for the 2024 spring sowing campaign free of charge as part of the Agriculture Resilience Initiative - Ukraine (AGRI-Ukraine), Ukrainian media reported citing the press service for the Ukrainian Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food.

In total, 14,000 tonnes of fertilizer will be donated to Ukrainian agricultural producers under the USAID AGRI Program, the statement said. Each participant will be able to receive up to 2 tonnes of mineral fertilizer (urea) per farm.

The registration for obtaining assistance will take place in the State Agrarian Register (SAR) in the Available Programs section of USAID AGRI's urea for spring cereals and oilseeds in 2024.

Agricultural producers who have between five and 500 hectares of cultivated land, grow cereals or oilseeds, are registered as legal entities or individual entrepreneurs, in particular family farms, and meet other conditions of the program can receive assistance.

Eligible applicants cultivating from five to 20 hectares of land (owned and rented) will receive one tonne of fertilizer each and those cultivating from 20 to 500 hectares will receive two tonnes each. Priority in receiving fertilizer will be given to farms whose owners or applicants are women (according to data in the SAR system).

Applications will be accepted from November 1 to November 14. Fertilizer is scheduled to be distributed in November-December 2023.

Due to the disrupted logistics, low grain prices, and their own exhausted resources, small farmers are often unable to purchase the required fertilizers, USAID said. A survey conducted by the Ministry of Agrarian Policy indicated that the fertilizer use for the next harvest season in 2024 is expected to be half of the agronomic need at 47%. Only 10% of respondents, including large and medium-sized producers, stand ready to meet their fertilizer needs fully.

The fertilizer distribution program is part of USAID AGRI's activities under the AGRI-Ukraine Initiative. About 8,200 farmers have already received fertilizer and corn and sunflower seeds in spring 2023, while about 12,000 farmers received fertilizer during this fall sowing season.

USAID AGRI's support also met the farmers' need for seeds and fertilizer for a sowing area of about 370,000 hectares, which allowed them to grow more than 110,000 tonnes of sunflower seeds and increase their yields by harvesting an additional 220,000 tonnes of grain.