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Ukraine and FAO sign 4-year cooperation agreement

Under the terms of an agreement signed here today, FAO will work with Ukraine to help the country improve its business climate, develop the agri-food production chain, facilitate access to markets, improve food security, carry out land reform, better manage natural resources and cope with climate change.

The “FAO Country Programming Framework for Ukraine 2016-2019” – which covers the period from 2016 to 2019 – was prepared in consultation with the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food, representatives of other Ministries, professional business associations, science and civil society. It complements and supports Ukraine’s “Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development 2015-2010.”

The agreement’s first priority area – Business climate and setting up a stable legal framework – encompasses a broad range of activities, including market integration and access to markets but also support to the seed sector and capacity development for transboundary animal diseases. There will be an important focus on developing the legislative framework for organic food production and certification.

“Ukraine has a high potential for organic production for export due to its fertile soil,” said Raimund Jehle, FAO Deputy Regional Representative and Regional Strategic Programmes Coordinator.

Yet, the number of Ukrainian farms certified under EU standards and regulations for organic farming remains low, Jehle said. FAO’s assistance in this area will focus on supporting Ukrainian policy makers to develop legislation related to organic production and certification in line with European Union standards.

Under the second priority area – Land reform and food security – FAO will support Ukraine’s land consolidation initiative, following the FAO Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure. One objective is to support smallholders in acquiring farms with fewer parcels that are larger and better shaped to increase their competitiveness.

Work on a sound Food and Nutrition Security Policy is also foreseen, including monitoring, training, and FAO recommendations on methods, tools and best practices.

A third priority area – Agri-food production chain development and access to international markets – takes into account the progressive increase in trade of agricultural and food products. FAO technical and policy guidelines for both public and private sectors will be applied, with reference to WTO requirements and EU standards. Further development of the legal framework for cooperatives is also foreseen.

The agreement’s fourth priority area is Environment and management of natural resources. Land, water, forestry, fisheries, genetic resources and biodiversity are covered here. FAO is expected to contribute both technical and policy advice, with strong emphasis on climate change, forestry and land management.

13 July 2016, Kiev, Ukraine

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