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 October-December 2012, the AgroInvest project team continued technical implementation activities in the project focus areas. Key activities and accomplishments during this period included the following:
- Finalized and submitted LGAF reports to the World Bank for review prior to their official submission of the report to the GoU and presented for public discussion.
- Announced competition for the second round of grants to industry associations for capacity building and advocacy activities.
- Scaled up the Legal Land Rights Services Program to help citizens understand and protect their land rights. The program is operational at the national level (through the Land Rights Resource Center and Web-portal project) and in eight oblasts of Ukraine (through grant agreements with three providers of secondary legal land rights services).
- Launched the Land Rights Public Education and Outreach Campaign.
- Completed the field phase of the Baseline Survey on Land Rights Awareness, Small- and Medium-scale Agricultural Producers Access to Finance, and Agricultural Market Infrastructure. The analytical report will be ready in January 2013 followed by a wide discussion of the findings through a series of roundtables.
- Developed the comprehensive “Market Survey on the Current Status of Agrilending in Ukraine” and presented the Market Survey results to AgroInvest partner banks as a meaningful platform for strategic agrilending expansion.
- Completed the multi-session training program on agrilending for credit union specialists. This program trained 156 specialists to begin conducting trainings on agrilending practices to their colleagues and SMPs.
- Developed and introduced a number of instruments to enhance the quality of lending to SMPs by credit unions, namely:
- Individual agriculture producer creditworthiness assessment tools;
- A financial-and-mathematical model for calculating loan interest rates;
- Instruments to improve the quality of ag-lending loan portfolios of credit unions; and
- Web-tools for SMPs’ to increase their awareness of, and access to, obtaining financing through credit unions.
- Presented Owner-Financing Mechanism to two leading Ukrainian banks as well as the Project’s established partner banks, and received their commitment to implement the mechanism when the moratorium on the sale of agricultural land is lifted.
- In collaboration with Ms. Horyna, a Member of the Verkhovna Rada (Parliament) of Ukraine, contributed to the adoption of law #10068 “On Amendments to the Tax Code of Ukraine (stimulation of the development of agriculture cooperation,” by the Verkhovna Rada, which was signed into law by the President of Ukraine.
- With the support of AgroInvest, the Verkhovna Rada passed the law #11221 “On amending the Law of Ukraine ‘On Agriculture Cooperation'” on November 20, 2012. This law is expected to be signed by the President of Ukraine in January 2013.
- At the request of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food, the Project executed an analysis of, and proposed recommendations to, the draft guidelines on accounting operations of agriculture servicing cooperatives.
- Completed the feasibility study for the development of Shelen wholesale agriculture market in Rivne oblast.
- Completed phase 1 of the feasibility study for developing a market in Hola Prystan raion, Kherson Oblast. The study focused on the production and marketing of agricultural produce in the market catchment area and proposals on the market facilities structure were prepared.
- Completed Phase 1 of the feasibility studies for developing two wholesale/retail agriculture markets in the Crimea. As a part of phase 1, the project conducted marketing studies and developed proposals on the structures of the facilities in Dobre village, Simferopol raion, and Zuya town, Bilohorsk raion.
- Selected firms on a competitive basis to conduct feasibility studies for (i) the renovation of the milk processing facility of the agriculture servicing cooperative, The Dairy Dnister, and (ii) the development of a slaughterhouse / facility in Bilozirka raion, Kherson oblast.