Sunday, October 7, 2012

Unbelievable Ukraine

Our Ukraine adventure has regrettably finished and time to consider the hardships, opportunities and resources can now be occur, without the influence of vodka.

Dave Fulwood, 2005 scholar, guided us through a maze of meetings, individuals, back roads, farms and culinary delights, that like the previous 2 countries will be remembered for a life time. Well done and thank you.

Some quick stats on Ukraine and comments on the agricultural situation.
45 million people reside in the Ukraine, over 24 regions.
They farm about 40 million hectares and experience a temperature range of minus 30 degrees C to plus 30 degrees C.

Fresh produce is plentiful with over 2 million hectares potentially irrigated via a network of channels built by the Russians.

Post independence from Russia, the state provided all rural settlers a parcel of land (1.2ha) to reflect their contribution to the states wealth. Today there are over 5 million farmers, with property sizes from 1.2Ha to enterprises farming over 500,000Ha.

The average salary is $3-400 USD per annum and many consider that life under Russian rule was more settled and safer than currently.

The extremes in Ukraine occur across all aspects of the country.
Land values range from $300 /ha usd to $3300 /ha usd
Rent $20-60/ha usd
Yields 5t/ha wheat, 8t/ha corn, 110t/ha carrots, milk 12 lt/day/hd
Land ownership forbidden to foreigners, to farm 10,000ha Atlantic Farms has 3800 rental agreements.
Modern gear and not so modern.

70% of fresh produce is sold in the markets or from the street, yet 'Green Team' can see opportunities and have built a 50,000 tonne chilled storage facility, truly visionary.

Kiazen (CI) has been discovered in the Ukraine, this management tool has spread wide and far, even if we cant read the learnings.

The adventure we have had in the Ukraine can only be described as unforgettable, be it the tradition of toasting with vodka, beef stroganoff, cabbage soup, cold showers, chaotic drivers, Marsha our translator, the rich and poor, scenery, expanse of arable land, bribes, Chernobyl and Shane Fitzgerald (irish) who left our group at the airport. Ooo Roo Paddy we enjoyed your company,laughter and signing, never to be forgotten.

We have a few days in Turkey to recoup and refocus, which will no doubt fire us up for the down hill leg of the GFP, namely France and USA.

Keep it touch, post a comment, and stay well.


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