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 July-September 2012, the AgroInvest project team continued technical implementation activities in the project focus areas. Key activities and accomplishments during this period included the following:
- Prepared draft Laws on Agrarian Receipts and on the Guarantee Fund for the System of Grain Warehouse Receipts for discussion in the parliament and approved by the Verkhovna Rada in the first reading on September 6, 2012. Development of these draft laws was supported through a subcontract with the Agrarian Markets Development Institute (AMDI).
- Signed and commenced implementation of six grant agreements with agricultural industry associations, selected through a competitive process.
- Launched and scaled up the Legal Land Rights Services Program to help citizens understand and protect their land rights. This program is operational at the national level (through the Land Rights Resource Center and Web-portal project) and in seven oblasts of Ukraine (through grant agreements with three providers of secondary legal land rights services).
- Completed grant competition and identified partner to provide primary and secondary legal land rights services in Dnipropetrovsk oblast.
- Completed tender and identified partner for the Land Rights Public Education and Outreach Campaign. The campaign will be launched in the next reporting period.
- Finalized and pre-tested instruments for the Baseline Survey on Land Rights Awareness, Small- and Medium-scale Agricultural Producers Access to Finance, and Agricultural Market Infrastructure. The survey will be conducted in the next reporting period.
- Developed the concept of specialized software for agrilending to SMPs for Erste Bank Ukraine to use for assessing SMPs credit applications.
- Concluded subcontract for market survey on the current status of agrilending to SMPs (bank/finance sector) with the objective to identify focus subsectors (agrifood products) and opportunities for developing effective agrilending to SMPs by Project partner financial institutions.
- Supported establishment of training series “Specific Features of Financial Service Marketing in Rural Areas” for the credit union specialists who are members of the working groups on agrilending. The training sessions included 79 participants and focused on creating new products for small and medium-sized agriculture producers and developing strategies for effective sales.
- The Information and Consultative Service, LLC, a project subcontractor, presented an analytical conclusion regarding available methodologies applied in conducting audits and inspections of credit union activities and developed the methodology of conducting internal audits of a credit union for its application by the Service of Internal Audits of the National Association of Credit Unions of Ukraine (NACUU).
- Conducted an intensive series of agrotechnological trainings for SMPs and credit unions’ credit officers to stimulate access to finance.
- Identified producer organizations and conducted analysis for their funding development.
- Developed a legal platform for Owner Financing Mechanism (OFM).
- Conducted seven focus groups in six oblasts for land share owners and farmers in rural areas on the OFM.
- Conducted the second round of the post-harvest handling and logistics grant program. Of the 13 applications received from cooperatives and producer organizations, six applicants were selected as grant recipients.
- Completed the second phase for preparing the design and feasibility study for the wholesale agriculture market “Shelen” in Rivne oblast. The prepared pre-design proposal for the market development including the explanatory note, market layout, traffic flows, floor plans, facades, cross sections, color solutions, 3D images, engineering networks layout, and energy resources requirements has been completed.
- As part of support to a network of five rayon markets/logistics platforms in Kherson oblast, AgroInvest selected a subcontractor through a competitive tender for preparing the pre-design and feasibility study for market development in Hola Prystan raion.