Ukraine has seen a variety of broken agricultural records and new reforms. 2019 led to a record crop of grain and oilseed. Exports are booming. The government also ended their monopoly on alcohol production, and liquidated the country’s Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food.
Even though 2019 saw a drought in the fall, Ukraine still produced a record crop of grain and oilseeds. The crop exceeded 75 million tons, which was 5 million tons more than last year. The majority of the crops came from 35 million tons of maize and 28 million tons of wheat.
Exports also have the potential to break previous records. Last year, farmers exported 30 million tons of grains to foreign markets. There’s still more of the marketing season to go, too!
Meteorologists are predicting excellent weather for harvesting winter crops in the coming months. Thanks to an abnormally warm December, most crops are still in good condition. Experts don’t expect to see any cold snaps, so the crops will stay healthy until harvest.
All these factors mean that the country will likely see a new harvest record!
No More Government Monopoly on Alcohol Production
At the end of last year, President Zelensky signed a law that liberalized the alcohol industry. There’s no longer a state monopoly on alcohol production. Now any licensed company can produce and sell alcohol, including that meant for exports.
The law however, does not allow any alcohol imports until 2024, a move that will help protect and prepare domestic companies. During that time, producers need to use Ukrainian raw materials in the production of alcoholic beverages.
Ukraine’s main monopoly holding, Ukrspyrt, will be privatized and the assets auctioned off until mid-2021. During an audit, however, the economy ministry discovered less than a third of the facilities were in operating condition. In the future, the government will allow people to begin building new private distilleries.
Liquidation of Agriculture Ministry
Another event that took place last year was the liquidation of Ukraine’s Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food. The former ministry is now a department in the new Ministry for the Development of Economy, Trade and Agriculture. Some people are skeptical of this recent action and believe it will lead to a decline in exports and product quality. The recent record crops, however, say otherwise.