Representatives of 6 regional platforms of Volyn, Kyiv, Lviv, Poltava and Kherson regions gathered in Kiev to meet with representatives of the Embassy of the Netherlands in Ukraine, the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine and NGO’s to share experiences in elaboration, advocacy and implementation of Rural Areas Development Projects.
Creation and building up the operation of the platforms was based on the format of Dutch approach “LEADER”. NGO “Primavera” with the support of the NGO “GoLOCAL” has brought the experience within the framework of the project “Capacity building of communities to participate in the implementation and monitoring of the reform process in agriculture, land management and rural development territories “BELIEVE”.
The project «BELIEVE» was implemented with the assistance of the MATRA Program, founded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Embassy of the Netherlands in Ukraine, and with the support of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food and the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine.
Having set a goal to combine the efforts of active citizens within a self-contained platform the project «BELIEVE» provided the necessary basic knowledge and tools for their further development. As a result, during the year the following was achieved:
- 6 public platforms were created. They include representatives of raion and oblast’ administrations, village councils and local businesses (farms, agricultural enterprises, travel agencies and foodservice establishments). Social platforms were created in Bilozerka, Bila Tserkva, Horokhiv, Lokhvytsia, Zhovkva, and Fastiv Raions;
- Training and seminars were conducted to provide knowledge and assistance necessary for the drafting of investment project offers. Training courses were based on the best European practices in regional and rural development, particularly on the European approach “LEADER”;
- Platforms members have made a visit to the Netherlands, during which they were able to get acquainted with the best international practices and present their investment projects to the representatives of the Dutch business;
- Legislative changes projects were proposed to promote small agricultural enterprises, domestic (farm) businesses and service cooperatives;
- Extended investment project proposals from public platforms to international technical assistance projects and international financial institutions.
During the workshop, each reporting platform briefly presented their projects and told about the results. A total of 12 projects were presented, among them:
- 2 projects on Cooperation in the production and processing of milk (Horokhiv and Lokhvytsia Raions);
- 2 projects on Creation of agro-recreational clusters (Zhovkva and Fastiv Raions);
- 2 projects on Bioenergy (Fastiv and Horokhiv Raions);
- 2 projects on the Introduction of new technologies for growing and processing of fruit and vegetables (Bila Tserkva and Lokhvytsia Raions);
- 1 project on Irrigation system restoration (Bilozerka Raion);
- 1 project on the Collection and processing of waste (Bila Tserkva Raion);
- 1 project on Establishment of logistic platforms for the collection, storage and sale of agricultural products of private farms (Zhovkva Raion);
- 1 project on Cooperation for drying and storage of grain (Lokhvytsia Raion).
During the meeting the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Ukraine Mr K.J.R. Klompenhouwer and the Deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine, Mrs Kovalova took the floor and participated in the discussion. Project manager NGO “Primavera” Mrs Zhovtonog presented a report on the results of the project.
Kees Jan René KLOMPENHOUWER in his welcoming speech noted the positive dynamics in the development of Ukraine’s economy and real steps in the reform process. He stated that the Netherlands would continue to support Ukraine on its path of reforms, in particular in the promotion of regional development. That is the task the MATRA Program is facing. The Ambassador called on the Government of Ukraine to consider the achievement of the project «BELIEVE» and to contribute to the further development of its pilot areas and implementation of the developed investment projects.
Olena KOVALOVA took an active part in the dialogue with the representatives of platforms and provided exhaustive answers to all questions from farmers, paying particular attention to the fact that the activities of the project corresponded with the top priorities of the Strategy of Agricultural sector development “3 + 5”. Deputy Minister stressed that the financial support of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine is designed to support small and medium enterprises as well as associations of small farms into cooperatives. “The legislation has approved amounts of investment that the state will lead to the development of agriculture, and they amount to 1% of gross agricultural production” – noted Mrs Kovaleva.
Subsidies in total 4 billion USD are to be given to agribusiness which creates high employment rates, such as animal husbandry, gardening, and berry growing. Restrictions on obtaining support were introduced only for poultry. The decision on compensation by the government 15% of the technology, which buys SME’s. The legislative rate is fixed for 5 years.
Olga ZHOVTONOG in her speech called on the government of Ukraine to maintain a close dialogue with platforms in the implementation of public policy. “Ukraine continues to be the breadbasket not only for Europe but for the whole world too. It is essential that we should develop our villages. We need not only fertile land, we need to foster and support people that work on it. Responsible and efficient landlords will help to create economically independent regions”.
NGO Primavera – is an international NGO that promotes the involvement of different stakeholder groups to achieve the objectives of sustainable use of land and water resources, and the development of regional plans for territorial development. Its mission is to spread knowledge and join efforts in shaping and implementing public policy of rural development in Ukraine.