Nick Gordiichuk is a Ukrainian farmer and Managing director of Agrico Ukraine. He talked with Dustin Hoffmann of Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network on March 24 about the situation that farmers in Ukraine are facing due to the Russian invasion. His farm is 600 hectares about 150 kilometers to the north of the Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. At the time of the interview, his land was overrun with Russian soldiers and tanks.
Nick said: “Farmers in Ukraine don’t only have to be farmers now, they also have to be soldiers…”
He talked about their efforts to keep feeding their citizens during the crisis. The Ukrainian Government is urging as many farmers as possible to grow all they can. Gordiichuk talked about the challenges they will face to get that done.
Farmers have been urged to do all they can to plant a crop this year. However, as Gordiichuk states, that isn’t necessarily going to be easy for farmers. Even those who have access to their land and equipment. Access to inputs like fertilizer and fuel is going to be a large obstacle.
For those farmers who can somehow run an operation this year, they also have concerns over obtaining financing. Gordiichuk says that the Ukrainian government and banks are working out ways to try and finance farmers. However, the challenge lies in obtaining that financing for small to medium operations. Gordiichuk says up to 30% of Ukraine’s land cannot be farmed this year.
Gordiichuk adds that Russians have already stolen and exported over 5,000 tons of agricultural products out of Ukraine.