Betting on Agriculture

Ukraine's Green Shoots of Recovery

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Why do I always have to go at the back?
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    A strong agricultural sector could help to rebuild Ukraine’s shattered economy.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Ukraine has traditionally been a breadbasket, producing millions of tons of wheat each year.
    • Conflict with Russian-backed rebels saw GDP fall by 7.5 percent in 2014.
    • Ukrainian oligarch Dmytro Firtash is creating a fund to attract foreign agricultural investors.
  • Audio

    Audio

  • Pdf

The conflict in eastern Ukraine is raging more violently than a few months ago. The economy of Europe’s largest country is shattered. Its heavy industry is being progressively destroyed.

The hard-pressed country has just one ray of hope: a rapidly growing agricultural industry.

Ukraine wants to use its thick carpet of rich, black topsoil to become Europe’s breadbasket again, but needs billions in aid from the West to do so.

“The new government in Kiev has now recognized that agriculture is one of the pillars on which the country can straighten itself out,” said Dirk Stratmann, sales manager of the farm equipment manufacturer John Deere. “Together with the energy issue, it is one of Ukraine’s key strengths.”

This assessment echoes that of Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who during a recent visit to Berlin said the agricultural sector is the only positive development in his country.

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