More than 200 influential experts, from the Ukrainian grain industry, public sector institutions, academia and international organisations participated at the Fourth Ukrainian Grain Congress in Kiev today. The Congress, promoted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), builds on the success of the Initiative for Joint Action to support the development of the grain sector in Ukraine, started in 2011.
The key part of the Congress was a roundtable which was held this morning – “Effective dialogue between agribusiness and the authorities” – organised by the FAO, the EBRD, the Ministry of Agriculture Policy and Food of Ukraine and the Ukrainian Grain Association. The roundtable focused on the activities and achievements of the Ukrainian Grain Sector Working Group, related government policies, and sector expectations for the marketing year of 2013-14.
High-level participants of the roundtable included the Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine, the EBRD’s Director of Agribusiness, the President of the Ukrainian Grain Association, the President of the Ukrainian Agrarian Confederation, the Head of the Ukrainian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, the Executive Director of the European Business Association, and the President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine.
The Congress participants voiced their appreciation of the work done by both the FAO and the EBRD, aimed at supporting the transparent dialogue between public and private players in the Ukrainian grain sector. Dmitry Prikhodko, Economist in the FAO Investment Centre, has facilitated the policy dialogue: “We are glad to see commitment and responsibility of the grain industry and the Ministry of Agricultural Policy and Food of Ukraine to continue the dialogue. The Working Group has become a sustainable mechanism of the dialogue already.” It was also agreed that the Grain Sector Working Group will function under the guidance of the Ukrainian Grain Association, to ensure sustainable sector policy dialogue.
The Congress is further evidence that continued policy dialogue in the Ukrainian grain sector enjoys widespread multilateral support. “Working with all parties is a powerful way to leverage our effort, which is particularly important to bring about sector reforms”, stated Gilles Mettetal, EBRD Agribusiness Director. Continued support and investments in the sector are crucial, for a country which has the potential to produce around 80 million tonnes of grain every year, and which is aiming to become a leading global food supplier, and therefore play a key role in addressing global food security.
Since the inception of the Initiative for Joint Action, in 2011, the EBRD has provided over US$ 300 million to grain sector companies in Ukraine, while more than US$ 800 million of private investments have been additionally mobilised in the sector.
The EBRD is the largest financial investor in Ukraine. As of 1 September 2013 the Bank had committed more than €8.6 billion (US$ 11.6 billion), through 327 projects, in Ukraine.
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