The leading associations and public associations of the agro-industrial complex believe that the relevant agricultural Ministry should not be abolished but must be reformed. This is stated in the corresponding appeal to the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, said AgroPortal.ua Director of NGO “all-Ukrainian agrarian forum” Maria Didukh.
“Most alarming are the plans of the Office of the President of Ukraine and the future of the parliamentary majority… in the elimination of the Ministry of agrarian policy and food facilities and its subordination to other authorities,” the statement says.
As noted by the signatories, agriculture and agri-food sector are vital for economic growth of Ukraine, food security (not only within the country but also in the world), the stability of national currency, social protection and rural development. Indeed, the agricultural sector provides 20% of jobs, 39% of total exports, 19% of GDP and 40% of foreign exchange earnings.
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“So logical and at the same time extremely important for the business and public community to have a specialized body of state power the Central level, which will be responsible for the definition of priority directions of development of sector of formation of the agricultural policy to increase agricultural production, expand markets for agricultural products, securing leading positions on the world markets and comprehensive development of rural areas”, – consider in Association.
The experts also recalled that in the framework of the FTA with the EU, Ukraine has to implement European standards in the sphere of sanitary and phytosanitary measures. It’s a complicated legislative process that requires understanding the specific features of the sector and professional representation at the governmental and parliamentary levels.
However, the signatories reminded that the majority of countries with developed agrarian sector have a separate Central body of Executive power, which is exclusively responsible for the formation of agricultural policy (United States, Canada, China, Turkey, almost all countries-EU members).
It is clarified that the Ministry not only form, but also implements its agricultural policies through its subordinate entities, in particular state foods and consumer service, the Gosgeokadastr, the state forestry Agency, Gosrybagentstvo the like.
Thus, according to the relevant unions, the lack of a specialized Ministry or authority will lead to:
the difficulties of formation and implementation of agrarian policies as a separate and important sector of economy of Ukraine;
European and other international partners will not properly relate to the proposals in the field of agricultural cooperation, represented non-core Minister, and especially if the position of Ukraine at the international level will represent only the head of the agrarian structural unit of any other Ministry.
“Therefore, we believe that the elimination of specialized agencies will lead to the loss of Ukraine not only leading positions on the international food markets, but also to the reduction of geopolitical influence as a leader in the export of agricultural products. At the same time, the agricultural community of the Ukrainian business fully supports the need to streamline activities of government agencies, and we are ready to participate in developing specific proposals. In particular, the Ministry of agriculture requires significant structural changes, revision of functional duties, and, to some extent, and empowerment in terms of education and science. Because modern agricultural production should be based primarily on the introduction of new technologies and to be provided with highly qualified personnel,” – said in the appeal to the President.
So, the initiative was joined by members of the civic Union “all-Ukrainian agrarian forum”: OO “Agrarian Union of Ukraine”, NGO “all-Ukrainian agrarian Council” all-Ukrainian Association of village councils, NGO “Ukrainian agrarian Confederation”, the Association “Ukrainian club of agrarian business” and the leading public enterprises of the agroindustrial complex.