Thanks to a favorable climate and fertile chernozem—the black-colored soil containing a high percentage of humus—that makes up a third of the world's stock, Ukraine could become a huge export base of fruits and vegetables, both fresh and processed. This was reported by the US Department of Commerce in the report on the fruit and vegetable industry of Ukraine, Voice of America reports.
The report, which was based on market research in Ukraine, says that "Ukrainian companies are aware that they can become world leaders in the production and processing of fruits and vegetables."
Ukraine currently ranks fifth in Europe in terms of producing fruits, vegetables, and berries and is eleventh out of 45 countries in Europe for organic farming. In 2016, the total volume of organic production in Ukraine was estimated at $22 million, 17% more than in 2015. According to the Ministry of Agricultural Policy and Food of Ukraine, many factors, especially an average return on investment of about 300%, make organic farming one of the most attractive destinations for investment in Ukraine, the report says.
The deterioration of trade relations with Russia gave impetus to the development and modernization of the industry. "The only important factor that motivates the producers and processors of fruits and vegetables to change is the complete reorientation of Ukraine's trade relations. During the last two years, Ukraine has reoriented the export of most fruits and vegetables from Russia to the European Union, South Asia, and South Africa. Such change in direction from East to the West requires Ukrainian companies to comply with higher production standards, which in turn requires them to search for better means of production and resources," the report notes.