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Large agricultural holdings will be biggest issue for Ukraine when joining EU — expert

7 March, 2024 Thursday
18:42
EU

European farmers cannot compete with large Ukrainian agricultural holdings, and this will be a serious challenge for Ukraine's accession to the EU

Agrarian expert Ivan Stefanyshyn shared his opinions with Espreso TV.

"There is more politics than economics in the blocking of the border by Polish farmers. However, in the showdown with Ukrainian exports, we are accused of being products of holdings. Ukraine is accused of non-competitiveness because our export crops are produced through large holding companies and are cheaper in terms of cost," says Stefanyshyn. "For example, there is resistance to Ukrainian poultry not only in Poland but also in France and other countries. For example, the cost of producing a kilogram of poultry meat in Ukraine is 2.4 euros, while in France it is 4.8 euros. The main reason is different categories of farms. In France, there are 50,000 broiler producers, but there are also smaller ones. And we have huge producers with millions of birds. It is clear that smaller ones are not competitive. And even when joining the EU, this will be the most difficult issue that Ukraine will have to solve - unequal production structures due to large agricultural holdings operating in Ukraine."

According to the expert, the government should not underestimate the problem of the production structure in Ukraine if it wants a free market with the EU.

"The country's leadership needs to go to Brussels now and look for solutions. How can this be done to take into account the interests of all parties.  Because some government officials have already said that we don't need EU subsidies, we want to join the EU so badly that we can do without them. But this is 100 billion euros. Only a fool can say we don't need it," says Ivan Stefanyshyn. "Large agricultural holdings in Ukraine are a problem that has only added to the strikes. And there will be no simple solution. Even if local elections are held in Poland and the border is unblocked, the problem of different production structures will not disappear."

Border blockade by Polish farmers

  • On February 7, Polish farmers sent an official notice to resume strikes on the border with Ukraine. The blocking of the Dorohusk-Yagodyn checkpoint began on February 9. The protest was approved by local authorities until March 9.
  • On February 20, they promised to block all border crossings with Ukraine for a month. Ukrainian transporters held their own peaceful protest in response to Polish farmers. The State Border Guard Service of Ukraine stated that it had not received any information from the Polish side regarding the complete blocking of the border. In response to the Polish blockade, Ukrainian carriers are preparing a protest at three checkpoints.
  • On February 20, Polish farmers on the border with Ukraine blocked the railroad and poured grain out of a freight car. Later it turned out that it was headed to Germany.
  • Amid the protests of Polish farmers, the European Union decided to step up its compliance checks on grain imports from Ukraine.
  • On March 5, it became known that Polish farmers were going to continue their protests on the border with Ukraine after March 10 and they would last until April 30.
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