In the Ukraine, where years of neglect under the former Soviet regime has left the agricultural sector struggling, MEDA worked with small farmers to improve their incomes. The Ukraine Horticulture Development Project assisted farmers to adopt modern technologies, increase productivity and deliver premium quality greenhouse crops, berries and table grapes to markets in which they have a competitive advantage.
The project established lead-farmer networks serving as a bridge between small farmers - who need inputs, technology and access to markets - and agribusinesses, which want to trade with them. These lead farmers also mentored small farmers in improved production methods and the 'business of farming,' thereby further improving small farmers' competitiveness. The expanding networks promise to integrate thousands more small farmers into profitable agricultural markets long after MEDA's role in Ukraine has ended.
In its final year of operation, UHDP assisted over 6,587 direct farmers with more than 3,750 participating in six clustered geographic locations. The project used market consolidation to encourage small farmers to work together to better reach valuable markets. In 2013, over 2,600 UHDP farmers generated 11 metric tons of greenhouse and horticulture crops worth $10.5 million, which they sold to national food retail chains and exported to Russia. About 40% of project clients were women. Agro Capital Management conducted new farm equipment sales valued at $5 million sold to 737 small farmers, 36% of which are women.
Project Quick Facts
Goal: To increase incomes of small horticulture farmers by improving support services and linkages to markets
Reaching: 5,000 farmers
Funding: Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD)