The purpose of AgroInvest is to provide technical assistance to accelerate and broaden economic recovery in Ukraine and increase the country’s contribution to global food security efforts. AgroInvest is achieving this objective by supporting a stable, market-oriented agricultural policy environment, stimulating access to financial services for small and medium producers (SMPs), and facilitating a more effective market infrastructure for SMPs.
The scope of work identifies three main components, refined into six tasks, as follows:
- Component 1: Support a Stable, Market-Oriented Environment
Task 1-a: Accelerate Market Oriented Reforms
Task 1-b: Strengthen Industry Associations
Task 1-c: Provide Public Education for Land Rights
- Component 2: Stimulate Access to Finance
Task 2-a: Sustainable Access to Financial Services for SMPs Provided
- Component 3: Facilitate Market Infrastructure for Small and Medium Producers
Task 3-a: Producer Organization Development
Task 3-b: Develop Wholesale Markets and Other Market Infrastructure
AgroInvest is a five-year project, extending to an estimated completion date of January 24, 2016. The scope of this Project encompasses the following U.S. Foreign Assistance Framework Program Areas: 4.2 Trade and Investment, 4.5 Agriculture, 4.6 Private Sector Competitiveness, and 4.7 Economic Opportunity.
In April-June 2013, the AgroInvest Project team continued technical implementation activities in the Project focus areas. Key activities and accomplishments during this period included the following:
- Initiated implementation of grant programs with two new agricultural industry associations that were selected on a competitive basis to build their capacity in advocacy and agricultural policy analysis.
- Announced a new grants tender to select up to five industry associations to develop their capacity in advocacy and agricultural policy analysis.
- Completed the Baseline Survey and discussed its findings at 10 public events, including seven regional events, generating 186 media appearances.
- Scaled up the Legal Land Rights Services Program and the National Information Campaign “My Land, My Right” to help citizens understand and protect their land rights which resulted in over 1,700 consultations, 57 public events and the dissemination of 3,481 printed materials and 182 media appearances on land during the reported period.
- Established working relationships of two partner banks with a company – an agricultural industry leader – and its two pilot distributors. Most noteworthy, Kredobank developed two special lending offers for SMP-customers of the company which are served by the pilot distributors.
- Finalized and launched activities for the subcontract on specialized agro technological trainings for credit officers of partner financial institutions.
- Completed the Assessment of Agrilending to Small and Medium-Sized Agriculture Producers in the Ukrainian Banking Sector, and the report on the feasibility of the application of a microfinance instrument to subsidize a portion of interest rates charged by financial institutions (interest rate buy down project).
- Short term consultant Bill Maltby, U.S. Agricultural Finance and Credit Unions Specialist, provided his assessment and recommendations to partner credit unions on how to address and overcome current challenges and work towards ensuring their sustainability.
- Conducted a study tour to the Netherlands for credit union officers to learn about the Dutch system of agricultural cooperative banks and develop working relations with Dutch agricultural input suppliers.
- Developed two new specialized credit products for small and medium-sized agriculture producers, and supported the finalization and promotion of six other credit products previously developed by AgroInvest.
- Conducted five training sessions for 157 farmers from southern and western regions – clients of the partner financial institutions. The trainings aimed to improve the creditworthiness of agricultural producers through sustainable development of their agricultural activities on the basis of turn-key solutions offered by AgroInvest and its financial partners
- The Decree of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food (MAPF) of Ukraine #315, dated May 21, 2013, on Approval of Model Bylaws of Agricultural Service Cooperative was signed. The Model Bylaws were developed by the AgroInvest Project at the MAPF’s request.
- The systematized scientific and practical commentary to the Law of Ukraine on Agricultural Cooperation and related legislative texts was developed and approved by the MAPF.