• Agriculture in Ukraine

    For centuries agriculture has been an integral part of everything Ukrainian, be it art or the famous national cuisine. The symbols of earth, fertility, plants and sun are everywhere. You can discover them in historical reviews about Ukraine, in fine arts, in folklore. And it is no wonder.

    Traditionally mostly peaceful peasants populated the territory of Ukraine. The ancient practice of living off the soil and agricultural products has made Ukraine one of the world leading producers of grains, vegetable oils, sugar. If you are looking for the country with favorable conditions for agricultural business there is hardly a better option than Ukraine.

    Despite the dramatic changes Ukrainian economy has been passing through during the last decades, the national agricultural sector still holds its strong positions mainly due to its abundant resource base. The major alimentary products exported internationally are grains, rapeseeds, vegetables, sugar, sunflower oil, milk powder and meat.

    20% of the agricultural exports including non-food batches go to Russia, while the countries of the European Union take up to 17% of the volume. China, Turkey and the United States of America receive 7%, 6% and 4% of food exports from Ukraine respectively.

    Sugar and oil processing is another major segment of the Ukrainian economy. Research showed that one out of four people in Ukraine works in agriculture or forestry which speaks expressively enough for the largest European country with 46 million people.

    Experts claim only 45-50% of the Ukrainian arable lands are used to cultivate crops while meat and poultry production has drastically decreased over the past decade despite the world’s growing demand for food. . Private farmers run their businesses mainly due to legal agreements allowing using the land lots for the time periods ranging from 5 to maximum 49 years. The economic forecasts proving agricultural output of Ukraine is not likely to be seriously affected by the world financial crisis make this country one of the most attractive for exploration and investments.


    Geography and climate

    Ukraine is the second largest country by territory in Europe, as its area is more than 603,700 km². We advise you to keep this fact in mind while planning your tour because it may take you long hours and even days to travel from one part of the country to another, particularly when travelling aside the main roads.

    Most of the territory (95%) are plains with low declivous uplands with the height of no more than 300 m. Mixed forests, forest-steppes and steppes prevail on the plains of Ukraine. About the half of the country area is used for plant growing; forests occupy 18% territories.

    There are two mountain chains here – the Crimean mountains in the South and the Carpathians in the West. Crimea is known due to its picturesque nature, it is often associated with summer vacation by the Black Sea at resorts like Yalta, Koktebel, Miskhor, Feodosiya, Gurzuf, etc. Carpathians welcome tourists the whole year round: in winter people come here to ski at Slavske, Bukovel and Dragobrat, while in summer it is also great to come for a peaceful relaxing tour. Ukraine is also known for numerous sources of mineral waters and therapeutic mud resorts in the Carpathians.

    The Southern part of Ukraine is washed by the Black and the Azov seas. The shores of the Black sea are mainly plain and sandy, dismembered by bays and estuaries. In the south of the Crimean peninsula the shores are steep and mountainous. The shores of the Azov sea are flat and surrounded by lots of sandy scythes.

    More than 70.000 rivers flow through Ukraine. The largest are Dnipro, Dnistro, Desna, Southern Bug. There are also more than 3000 natural lakes the largest of which is Svityaz.

    The climate is mostly moderate continental with some differences in the Carpathians and the Crimean mountains, in the southern part of Crimea it turns to Mediterranean. The average temperature in January is between -8°C to +2°C, in July it gets between +17°C to +25°C. The amount of fallouts gradually diminishes from North to South: in the Carpathians it’s about 1500 mm a year, at the seaside it is less than 300 mm a year.

    Agriculture in Western Ukraine

    This region is rich in diverse agricultural and natural resources. Geographically it can be divided into the Western part (or Carpathians) and the North-Western part.

    Carpathians region includes Lviv, Zakarpattya, Ivano-Frankivsk and Chernivtsi regions.

    The total area is 56,6 thousands km² with the population reaching 6,1 mln people.

    The agro-industrial complex of the area includes agriculture and processing industries.

    In a forest-steppe area cattle breeding, pig breeding, grain planting, flax and sugar beet cultivation are widespread.

    In the mountains the cattle breeding prevails. Due to the geological and climate conditions these lands can’t be used for arable planting. Therefore, sheep breeding traditionally played the leading role here. The steep mountain slopes are suitable for this agricultural sector. Polonyny or subalpine grasslands are covered with bilous – plant which only sheep can eat. Flax and potato are also popular here. In Zakarpattya region you can find lots of households involved into viticulture, gardening and tobacco cultivation.

    The North-western area consists of Rivne and Volyn region where 2,2 million people live. The total area is 40,3 thousand km². The average density of the population is 55 people per 1 km² which is the lowest rate in the country.

    People mostly cultivate rye, flax, hop, winter-crops, wheat, sugar beet and potato. However the region tends to live off cattle breeding: pig and sheep breeding, poultry, rabbit and fish farming, as well as beekeeping are popular.

    Thousands of family households are small and most are poorly equipped. Local farmers work in fields as they have been doing for years. They cut hay with hand scythes, carts and ploughs are driven by horses.

    Central Ukraine

    Central Ukraine is Kirovograd, Cherkassy, Vinnytsia, Zhitomyr, Poltava and Kyiv regions. All of these except Kyiv are mainly agrarian.

    The regional agro-industrial sector is known for the diverse plant cultivation and animal breeding. People cultivate winter wheat, barley, maize, sugar beet, sunflower, hemp, coriander. The leading sectors are milk production and cattle breading. Enterprises, specializing in breeding pigs, sheep, rabbit, and poultry are also popular.  and pond fish breeding are developing.

    Every region has its peculiarities. For instance, in Vinnytsia region the horticulture and viticulture are widespread, also represented a unique branch of agricultural production as a hop planting.

    Vinnytsia region is ranked first in the country for the production of cereals and sugar beet, shares the 1-2 places for the production of vegetables with Autonomous Republic of Crimea.

    The major crops grown in Kirovograd area are winter wheat, barley, maize, beans, buckwheat and millet, as well as sunflower and sugar beet.

    The production of soybeans is rapidly growing.  The dominant trends in horticulture are apples, pears, plums, cherries and berries.

    South Ukraine

    This part of Ukraine includes Odessa, Mykolayiv, Kherson regions and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.

    An area of the appointed territory is 113.4 thousand square meters. km, population – 7 million, the average population density – 61 people per 1 sq.km.

    South Ukraine is a region of immense steppes, fertile soil and intensive sun shining regime.  At the same time some of these areas suffer from the lack of water resources in summer.

    Diversified agro-industrial complex of the Southern Ukraine is one of the most developed in the country.  Winter wheat, barley, maize, millet, rice, sunflower, tobacco, ricin, and mustard occupy significant areas here. Also we can mention sugar beets, flax, soy, sesame, peanuts, essential oil and medicinal plants.

    Large areas are used for vineyards, orchards, cultivating vegetables and melons. Dairy and beef cattle, pigs, poultry and sheep breeding is widespread. Fish breeding and fish processing industry are developed in the regions washed by the Black and Azov seas.

    Eastern Ukraine

    To the East Agricultural zone of Ukraine usually included Kharkiv, Poltava and Sumy regions. The total area is 84 thousand  km², total population -5.6 million.

    Agricultural lands of the East Agricultural region occupy up to 79% of its area,            agriculture is better developed than livestock breeding.

    The main specialization of agricultural production is the cultivation of cereals, sugar       beet and sunflower. Potatoes and vegetables are grown in suburban areas of the large cities. In sector of animal husbandry dairy and meat cattle breeding and pig breeding dominates. Apiculture and sericulture enterprises are also developing.