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01 Jul. 2023

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The impact of the war on the agricultural sector of Ukraine: analysis of the latest data from the State Statistics Service

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The impact of the war on the agricultural sector of Ukraine: analysis of the latest data from the State Statistics Service

Ukrainian agricultural producers have suffered significant losses not only in terms of destroyed territories and spoiled crops, but also in terms of the loss of the ability to freely export their products and make a profit. Find out how the agricultural map of Ukraine has changed under the influence of the war

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Over the past year, the agrarian map of Ukraine has undergone significant changes, the production of grain, vegetables and fruits has fallen in our country. As a result of the occupation, Ukrainian farmers lost large areas of land. Another catastrophic consequence of the war was the loss of the ability to export products and earn income.

How did the war affect the agricultural sector of Ukraine? Let's talk further.


Changes in the agricultural sector of Ukraine in 2022


According to the latest analysis of the State Statistics Service, in 2022 the collection of grain fell by 40%, vegetables – by 25%, and fruit – by 10%.


Reasons for the decrease in grain production in 2022


The occupation and the loss of sales channels affected the volume of grain production in Ukraine. In 2022, Ukraine lost more than 32 million tons of grain harvest or 37.4% compared to 2021. Grain is the basis of Ukrainian agricultural exports and it suffered the most among all areas of agro-industrial production.

The occupation and active hostilities resulted in the loss of up to 80% of the harvest in the Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk and Luhansk regions. The economy of the Kherson region was severely affected, part of the territory of the region was liberated at the end of 2022, certain areas of the region are still under occupation. Kharkiv Oblast, Odesa, Mykolaiv Oblast and Vinnytsia also lost up to 50% of their harvest.

As a result of the war, Ukrainian farmers also lost the cheapest way to export their products to the foreign market - by sea. Land and river transport became an alternative, but such transport is more expensive.

Low prices for agricultural products and the increase in the cost of transportation services led to the fact that farmers lost most of the profit from the sale of products. As a result, many farmers refused to harvest, for example, a large percentage of the 2022 corn crop was left to overwinter in the fields.

The problems were compounded by regular power outages, which disabled the equipment.


Buckwheat harvest increased by almost 40% - why?


Buckwheat harvest in 2022 increased by almost 40% - this is a unique situation. There are several reasons for such changes:

• small amounts of buckwheat cultivation before the war (compared to wheat and corn);

• Buckwheat is a domestic crop of Ukraine that is not exported;

• Before the war, Ukraine exported 50% of its domestic buckwheat consumption mainly from russia.

Farmers of Chernivtsi and Poltava regions began to grow more buckwheat, six and four times more.




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How has the amount of vegetables and fruits grown in Ukraine changed?


In 2022, Ukraine collected 24.4% less vegetables than in 2021. The tomato harvest suffered the most, its volume fell almost in half, because before the Great War, every fourth Ukrainian tomato came from the Kherson region. The occupation of the region affected the volume of tomato production.

In general, vegetable growing gravitates towards water, so the farmers of Odesa Oblast were able to compensate for the loss of Kherson Oblast (by 15% more), because Odesa Oblast has irrigation systems and Cherkasy Oblast (+5%) - the region has access to the Dnieper.

There was no significant shortage of vegetables in Ukraine, because many farmers reoriented part of their agricultural land to vegetable growing, because there is more income. Many enterprises also relocated from the affected regions.

The Sumy region showed an unexpected increase. The region increased the production of cabbage, potatoes and other vegetables.

In general, the regions of Ukraine have a great potential for growing vegetables, however, it will take 2-3 years to fully compensate for the loss of crop volumes, because in addition to growing vegetables, it is necessary to build infrastructure for storage and sorting.

Fruit growing also migrated from traditional Ukrainian regions. In 2022, more fruits began to be grown in Cherkasy region (+30%), Kirovohrad region (+26%) and Lviv region (+9%). The Mykolaiv region harvested twice as many grapes as last year, the Cherkasy region entered the top 10 regions for cherry cultivation.

Apples were the most affected, their harvest fell by 12%, and strawberries - in 2022 they were harvested by 13% less. In general, the domestic cultivation of fruits in 2022 decreased by 10.2%. Horticulture is also highly dependent on the availability of water, so many enterprises have relocated to regions where there is access to irrigation systems and possible sales of products.


So, the war significantly affected the agricultural sector of Ukraine, but Ukrainian farmers continue to work, look for ways to solve their own problems in production and support the economy of Ukraine.

The agricultural lands of Ukraine were severely damaged as a result of the explosion of the Kakhovska HPP, read about the consequences of this terrorist act committed by the russian army at the link.




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