Business discussed urgent agricultural issues with the Head of the relevant VRU committee
On July 7, the EBA Committees met with Oleksandr Gaidu, Chairman of the VRU Committee on Agrarian and Land Policy to discuss urgent issues for the agricultural sector.
The Chairman reported to the companies that his Committee is solving the agro-logistics problem to stabilize the work of the agrarian industry. The solutions are developed for establishing routes and finding new logistics corridors for the export of agricultural products. Meanwhile, Oleksandr warned that the dynamics of exports may be reduced in the coming months if new transport routes are not opened, as European ports will be overloaded due to the active agricultural season in Europe. Therefore, active negotiations are currently underway with Romania and Poland as the most promising countries for cooperation in this matter.
Business is also concerned about other problems; it is especially difficult now for small and medium-sized businesses, and therefore the Committee representatives conduct communication and consultations with farmers to help solve urgent issues with fuel, fertilizers, sowing materials to properly prepare for harvesting and sowing campaigns.
Regarding the work of agrochemical companies, the participants discussed several priority draft laws, namely No. 4558, which needs minor amendments, and No. 4601 on the criminalization of counterfeiting. Besides, the EBA representatives emphasized the importance of preventing additional import duties on seeds, pesticides, and fertilizers to avoid price increases and not complicate the situation with sowing.
Another urgent issue relates to the reservation of conscripts that work in the agricultural sector. Business emphasizes the importance of streamlining the reservation procedure in order to make it transparent and ensure unambiguous compliance with the rules by military commissions. Currently, companies are reporting numerous problems with confirming the status of reserved employees, referring to the illegal demands of military commissars on the ground.
In the grain industry, the experts expressed their position regarding draft laws No. 4600 and No. 6400, which are not supported by the business community. The companies welcome the Committee’s intention to focus on logistical issues because the export of grain and oil products is currently the top problem. Regarding the phytosanitary industry, business does not see the need to introduce any changes, the only thing the market needs is digitalization. This applies to information, public services, and the electronic exchange of phytosanitary certificates.
The industry also has a separate issue that requires the attention of the authorities and it is grain storage. In July, the export capacity reached 1.5 million tons, but this volume is small compared to our production capabilities, so there is a need in creating sites for the temporary storage of grain on the territory of Ukraine. For this, it is necessary to help producers with finances and special equipment. In October-November, this problem will become urgent, so we need to prepare now since we will not have time to take out the harvested crop.
Representatives of the food industry noted the long-term positive experience that the EBA had in working with the Committee. This concern the draft laws on contact materials and on improving the quality of children’s food products, as well as the adopted law on child nutrition that brings Ukraine closer to European standards. The EBA also participated in the work on feed legislation, namely in the area of pet food. Business representatives ask the Committee to pay special attention to these specified areas of work and they are ready to provide their expert opinion.
The situation in the dairy industry became even more complicated with the start of a full-scale war. Currently, the most painful issue for the industry is the significant loss of dairy cattle, because the number of herds is already critically reduced annually, and due to hostilities military operations, the losses became even larger.
Business raised a specific, but the very relevant issue for now in the veterinary industry. Thus, we talked about the work on annexations to the veterinary legislation. Currently, there is a nuance for large manufacturers – they need to have the owner registration certificate. There are ongoing discussions that the owner should be only from a resident company, but this causes difficulties for international companies. Therefore, we ask you to provide the possibility that the owner of the registration certificate can also be a non-resident. This will not only relieve international business of unnecessary worries but will also enable Ukrainian institutions conducting registration to receive payment for their services in foreign currency.
Based on the results of the meeting, the EBA will prepare a follow-up with all the issues that were discussed. The European Business Association thanks Mr. Chairman for the time and attention given to issues relevant to business. We hope for fruitful and long-term cooperation with the Committee!