(Frick and Kiev, 25.06.2018) The organic sector is developing rapidly internationally, and offers Ukraine a very interesting opportunity to generate much–needed employment and income in and for rural areas. With this vision in mind and a clear understanding of the huge potential of Ukraine’s agricultural sector, SECO started to invest in the organic sector in 2005, in cooperation with sector stakeholders in Ukraine and the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine. Barbara Jäggin, Programme Manager at SECO, describes the aims of the project at AGRO 2018, Ukrainian’s largest agribusiness trade show "SECO’s aim is to enhance the competitiveness of the organic sector and to facilitate Ukraine’s access to the international market. With this goal, we want to help build and strengthen partnerships that help improve the sustainability of the organic sector and the performance of the stakeholders".
"Ukraine has become an integral part of the global organic market, meeting the demand of buyers from different countries worldwide", said Olena Kovaliova, Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine. "We are very proud to see that, since 2002, the surface of certified organic land has increased by 60 %, from 240,000 to 381,000 hectares, and the number of certified farmers is four times higher now, having increased from 70 to 294", explains Olga Trofimtseva, also Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine. "The SECO funded project has set a landmark for the agricultural sector of Ukraine, far beyond the organic sector and Ukraine’s borders."
Organic agriculture: enhancing competitiveness and employment in rural areas
In June 2018, the Swiss-Ukrainian project will come to its successful end. During AGRO 2018, FiBL presented findings of its socio-economic study to assess the development of the Ukrainian organic sector, with emphasis on the sector’s competitiveness and job creation effects, especially in rural areas. The study was conducted between November 2017 and June 2018, and involved an online survey to capture information from 140 sector stakeholders. The study not only confirms that the sector has grown substantially in recent years but that it has played an important role in creating a meaningful number of new jobs, especially in rural areas. Thanks to new business opportunities for both the export and the domestic market, new businesses and jobs have been created in rural areas relating to production, as well as in processing, retailing, trading, input supply and service provision – all jobs that will further enhance the competitiveness of the sector in the coming years.
- Barbara Jäggin, e-mail barbara.jaeggin(at)seco.admin.ch
- Viktor Shutkevych, e-mail viktor.shutkevych(at)eda.admin.ch
- seco-cooperation.admin.ch: SECO website on Economic Cooperation and Development
- eda.admin.ch: SECO Switzerland and Ukraine
- ukraine.fibl.org: FiBL project website