Ukraine: no objective reasons for failure of the planting campaign (post-release of APK-Inform press-conference)
On March 31, 2014, the press-conference “Planting campaign -2014: not weather is the main challenge!” was held in the press-center UNIAN. APK-Inform Agency was the conference organizer.
The press-conference was attended by:
• Bagrat Ahidzhanov, Director of Financial and Credit Policy and Accounting Department of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine;
• Rodion Rybchinskiy, Head of Business Projects Division of APK-Inform Agency;
• Maryan Zablotsky, Major analyst of Ukrainian Agrarian Association;
• Tatiana Adamenko, Head of the department of agrometeorology of the Ukrainian hydrometeorological center.
R.Rybchinskiy announced the first official forecast of APK-Inform Agency. It is expected that in 2014 the general harvest of grains and pulses in Ukraine will total 57.3 mln tonnes, a decrease of 9% compared with 2013 harvest. Reduction of the planted areas of winter crops (to 7 mln ha in 2014, as opposed to 7.9 mln ha in 2013) was caused by the planned increase of cultivation of more profitable spring crops in the current season – soybeans and sunflower seed, and maize as the main crop during 5 recent years. However, after the political events in the country during several recent months, agrarians are not ready to break records at the moment.
In turn, the harvest of oilseed crops is forecasted at the level of 15.2 mln tonnes, down 6% compared with last year. Generally, the planted areas under oilseeds will increase, due to expansion of soybean areas, but the yield indices of oilseeds will be lower compared with last year.
According to T.Adamenko, there is observed the precipitation deficit throughout the major part of Ukraine at the level of 25-40%. In many southern oblasts the precipitation deficit totals 40-50%. Generally, to date the average moisture content in the soil throughout the most of Ukrainian territory are favorable for both winter and spring crops. The Main agrometeorologist added that in the nearest time the weather conditions will be favorable for completing the early spring crops planting campaign.
According to the Financial and Credit Policy and Accounting Department of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine, in the current year the general necessity of agricultural producers in the funds for holding of the spring crops planting campaign totals 42 bln UAH, including material costs — 31 bln UAH. Also, the additional costs for the planting campaign will total nearly 2 bln UAH, due to the price increase for import raw-materials. Financing of the field works of agrarians at their own expense will reach over 34 bln UAH. The deficit of funds at the level of 8 bln UAH will be covered at the expense of raising of commercial credits (nearly 3 bln UAH) and bank funds (nearly 5 bln UAH).
Also, the press-conference participants raised the issue of grain quality certification. According M.Zablotsky, the process already became the symbol of corruption on the agrarian market of Ukraine. The value detraction during certification totals 1-2 USD/t, which reaches nearly 30-50 mln USD annually within scales of the Ukrainian grain exports.
In his turn, B.Ahidzhanov stated that in the nearest future the Government will cancel the obligatory grain certification. The grain certification procedure will be provided only if it is required in the export contracts.
As for the VAT refund on grain exports, the press-conference participants supported imposition of the standard since October 1, in terms of further support of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy.
The agreement of agricultural land lease became another important topic for discussion. According to B.Ahidzhanov, the issues about registration of such agreements arise only if the term of the previous lease already expired. There were not observed any significant problems with the transfer of database of the State agency of land resources of Ukraine to the State registration service of Ukraine, and the fixed tax on land lease (in terms of the rental cost of 640-1500 UAH/ha) was increased from 5 UAH/ha to 30 UAH/ha.
Here you can become acquainted with the video material of the press-conference in Russian.
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