From the podium

From the podium

His Excellency Sergii Ryzhuk (Minister for Agricultural Policy of Ukraine) (Original language Ukrainian)

Mr Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen.

First and foremost, I should like, in the name of the Ukrainian Delegation, to thank the Director-General of FAO, Mr Jacques Diouf, for the invitation to take part in the work of the Summit. We would also like to thank the Government of Italy for the truly hospitable welcome which it has offered us at the Summit.

The Summit, where we find ourselves today in Rome, has very important discussions before it if it is, in fact, to achieve its aims and reduce hunger in the world by half by the year 2015. Our task here, it seems to me, is to determine the appropriate measures which we must take to carry this out as rapidly as possible and to mobilize the technical and financial resources. We must concentrate the political will of all countries in order to achieve this aim.

The Ukraine, for its part, is ready, willing and able to take part in this work. Agriculture in the Ukraine is very important in order to improve the economic and social position of the country and also the food security of the Ukraine. The land is our greatest richness and the Ukraine has about 48.1 million ha of land, of which about 30 million ha are, in fact, cultivatable – this is called “the black land”. We would like to say that this is a particularly important.

I am fully aware of the value of this, which is part of the 23 percent of the work of the population, and radical work has been done in agriculture. The Presidential Decree of 23 December 1999, which was to establish the means to accelerate agricultural reform and to create new situations to generate a market economy. Therefore, we have new types of agricultural enterprise in the Ukraine based on private ownership of land. On 25 October 2001, we introduced a new Supreme Council Code which was, in fact, within the Constitution of the country, that is that all citizens should have a right to land. The agrarian sector, which is under reform, has a great deal of good influence on the national economy. In 2001 we had an import figure of nine percent of production and as far as the food economy was concerned, this has been growing. A large number of chemical industries have been set up and also fertilizer plants. In 2001 we had the largest grain harvest for seven years, 40 million tonnes, and so were able to export about eight million tonnes of grains. Therefore, we are trying to carry out policies to ensure to overcome all the problems in agriculture in our country and ensure the necessary standard of work and life for all citizens of the Ukraine by increasing the quality of our agricultural production and export potential.

This is our true aim. We have set up many committees for standardizing agricultural production which, in fact, functions well and is included in the TASIS Programme under the Decree of the President of the Ukraine. With regard to the development of markets and export markets, we are trying to increase our exports by every means possible. We are trying, therefore, to support agriculture much more under the TASIS programme and to use our resources, including ecological resources, to the full and to bring more goods to the world market. Therefore, we are trying to harmonize standards to be in line with international standards, with regard to the quality of our agricultural produce. We have also implemented a system of guarantees for quality, in the biological sense, throughout our productive system.

I should also like to say that the Inter-institutional Coordination Council will ensure that there is better cooperation between the various governmental and non-governmental bodies. We think that it is very important that the Ukraine should play its full part in helping humanitarian aid and we also are very interested in how FAO is helping in this increasingly important task.

The Ukraine, in fact, would like to say that we are very interested in becoming a Member of this Organization, which as done so much good work in the world. The Ukrainian Government is, in fact, studying this at the present moment and a final decision will be taken in the very near future. I am convinced it will be positive.

I would like to say in conclusion that these economic reforms will help the Ukraine to increase its exports and to undertake a new cooperation within FAO to try to meet the noble objectives which have been set down before this World Summit.

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