OREANDA-NEWS. April 11, 2016.  “According to the recent data, the sowing campaign of early spring grain crops has been fulfilled in the area of 1.7 million hectares or more than 66% of the forecast. Moreover, barley was planted in the area of 1.2 million hectares (64%), wheat – 121 thousand hectares (70%), oats – 145 thousand hectares (66%), peas– 160 thousand hectares (86%). The sowing campaign of early grain crop is completed in Khmelnytsky Region, and the Chernivtsi and Vinnytsa Regions are also approaching the completion.  In the north and the west of the country, the sowing campaign was constrained by weather conditions, and the planting has just started. Additionally, the planting of industrial crops has also started, namely: sugar beets – 44%, and sunflowers – 4%”, Oleksii Pavlenko, the Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine, stressed in his speech at the meeting of the Government.

The Minister noted that the inspection of winter grain crops evidenced that only 3% of crops had been lost out of the total planted area of 7.1 million hectares while 6.9 million hectares of sown land was in good and satisfactory conditions.

“What regards the territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions under the control of Ukraine, spring grain, and leguminous crops were planted at the rate of 62% and 38% of the forecasted areas, accordingly. The total sown area in 2016 is expected to reach the area of 26.5 million hectares or similarly to the level of 2015”, the Minister added.

 The Minister further reported that the need for funding to carry out the spring field works in the current year amounted to UAH 79.2 billion, or 17% more than in 2015 (UAH 67.6 billion). Farmers are going to raise UAH 66.6 billion of their own funds for the sowing campaign while the sum worth UAH 12.3 billion is to be covered by loans.

Speaking about the financing of the agricultural sector, Oleksii Pavlenko added that in the previous year the Ministry of Agrarian Policy ad Food of Ukraine managed to attract nearly 10 billion UAH to support small and medium businesses.

 “In this regard, the Government has allocated UAH 300 million budget funds to refund the rates on credits, thus enabling 3 600 small and medium producers to get preferential loans in the amount of UAH 7.8 billion. Moreover, in 2015, 15 international aid projects have started and were implemented in 2015 for the total of UAH 2 billion. The aim of these projects was to support farmers and cooperatives in horticulture and in meat and dairy industry.  I would like to stress that, in 2016 we are going to double the support to UAH 20 billion. It means that we will step up the support by the means of UAH 12 billion in loans from the European Investment Bank”, Oleksii Pavlenko stressed.