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Economy, agriculture and food security
In 2014, the gross domestic product (GDP) was US$ 132 000 million and agriculture accounted for 12 percent of GDP, while in 1994 it accounted for 16 percent.
The potential for agricultural production is rather evenly spread throughout the country, with two distinguishable centres: the western region characterized by a moderate climate, and the southern region with its fertile black soils where irrigation plays an important role.
The sudden loss of state agricultural subsidies after independence in 1991 had an enormous effect on the agricultural sector: fertilizer use fell by 85 percent over a ten-year period and grain production by 50 percent; farms were forced to cope with inefficient machinery because no funds were available for capital investment. However, farmersĺ decisions regarding crop selection and management became increasingly market-based, which contributed to increased efficiency in both the livestock and the crop production sectors (USDA, 2004).
State and collective farms were officially dismantled in 2000, and farm property was divided among the farm workers and most of the new shareholders leased their land back to newly formed private agricultural associations. In 2013, out of the total agricultural area of 41 million ha, 46.9 percent belongs to non-state agricultural enterprises, 2.3 percent to state agricultural enterprises, 38.4 percent are private lands and 12.4 percent correspond to other users (Ukrstat, 2014, USDA, 2004).