Ukraine grain output has potential to double to 70MMT

The EBRD and the World Bank called on Tuesday for new government policies to help boost investment in agriculture in Ukraine and so unlock the huge potential the country has to increase farming output.

At a conference on agribusiness one day after the EBRD’s annual meeting in Kyiv, organised together with the Ministry of Agrarian Policy of Ukraine, the two institutions said the current high food prices were a major opportunity for Ukraine, a net grain exporter. Ukraine is one of the few countries in the world that are in a position to significantly increase net exports and make up for emerging deficits elsewhere.

However, they noted that private investment in farming demand sound and transparent policy but also appropriate infrastructure and investments in public goods. Infrastructure problems include inadequate physical capacity of railway networks, ports, the road system as well as storage and investment in public goods should address issues such as research, extension and farm education.

A shift in policies and increases in private and public investments could help Ukraine to increase its grain production, possibly to as much as 70 million tons (from around 35 million tons in recent years). The increased production would largely translate into increased export potential.