FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia

FAO helps Ukrainian farmers get prepared for the next planting season

Some 1 250 rural households residing along the contact line in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine are receiving seed potatoes this week from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). This is the second round of FAO’s vegetable seed distribution aimed at helping farmers get ready for the planting campaign now under way in eastern Ukraine.

This time, more than 125 tonnes of certified and highly productive seed potatoes will be distributed to around 1 250 food-insecure households and small farmers. The project’s aim is to increase the self-production of potatoes – one of the main staple foods – and enrich the supply of domestic market. In addition to the high-quality seeds, the beneficiaries of the FAO project will receive a complete step-by-step guide on good practices for potato cultivation.

“From our last years’ experience, we see that an estimated 100 kilograms of seed potatoes per household allowed our beneficiaries to produce harvests sufficient to meet their family requirements for almost a year,” said Farrukh Toirov, coordinator of FAO’s response programme in Ukraine. “Also, it became a reliable source of additional earnings for many of them.”

Distribution is taking place in the most challenging and difficult-to-reach locations close to the contact line, such as villages of Zhovanka, Mayorsk and, Peski in Donetsk region, Staryi Aidar and Serednoteple in Lugansk region.

”After three years of working in this area, I see that people keep a good balance between using the collected harvests for self-consumption and enriching local markets,” Toirov said.

The help comes as part of FAO’s response programme in the conflict zone, currently financed by the Government of Canada and valued at USD 2.3 million. FAO arranged the distribution in close collaboration with the non-government organization KVL and local volunteers.

In recent months, FAO has supported nearly 30 000 households along the contact line with various types of farming inputs, such as drip irrigation kits, animal feed, rabbits and poultry. The distribution of agricultural machinery to cooperatives will also continue in late spring.

By early May, the FAO team in Ukraine plans to assist another 3 200 households with young animals and poultry.

Ukraine joined FAO in 2003 and is partnering with various FAO projects both in the country and in the region. Since 2015, FAO has been operating in Ukraine in two strategic directions: an emergency response programme implemented in conflict-affected eastern Ukraine, and an agriculture development programme with nationwide coverage.

27 March 2018, Kyiv, Ukraine