Which regions are breadwinning in Ukraine?

Author : Roman Kyrychenko

Source : 112 Ukraine

Find out whether Donbas really feeds Ukraine, and what regions bring the highest foreign exchange earnings
15:34, 17 February 2017

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Not so long ago, Ukrainian were firmly convinced that "Donbas feeds Ukraine." This myth was born from those considerations that main Ukraine’s industry facilities are situated mainly in the eastern part of the country.

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These theses could be previously heard at business forums, from the highest political stand, and even in some government offices, and the working class naively believed in them. And it turned out that our "Donbas the breadwinner" received from the state budget almost twice more than gave back.

Another argument in favor of this rhetoric: metal ore and chemical industry products, which are also produced mainly in the eastern part of the country, were the main suppliers of currency in Ukraine.

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But times have changed and "metal" billionaires were replaced by "agricultural" billionaires. Since 2014, the palm belongs to the agricultural sector. Not the minerals, but rather products grown on the ground save Ukrainian exports from the abyss.

The rates grow fantastically. According to the deputy head of the Agriculture Ministry Olga Trofimtseva, Ukrainian exports of agricultural and food exceeded 15.5 billion dollars last year - 42.5% of total exports. In 2015 - 38%, and in 2014 - 31%.

Every year, Ukraine is increasingly becoming a real agrarian country. So we decided to finally answer the key question "what regions really feed Ukraine?"

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"Grain" monsters

In the 2015-2016 marketing year, Ukraine has set several new records. First, export of 39 million tons of grain; the previous record of the last season was beaten by 13%. According to government forecasts, in the 2016-2017 season, this achievement will be surpassed.

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Harvest of a record 65.9 million tons. Leaders in collecting grain were Poltava and Vinnytsia regions. Their territory grew 17% of all country’s grain in 2016. Although, the share of grain growing of these regions has not changed significantly, even in comparison with 2013, they are traditional industry leaders.

As for the Poltava region, its residents can already nominate their candidate for the presidency and create their own clan. Given that the region has many oil wells, mining, and processing enterprises, Poltava can declare itself the "first" breadwinner of the country.

grain crops, thousand tones

"Oil mills" of the country

One of the most important components of agricultural exports is sunflower oil foreign trade. During the years 2011-2016, the share of these products in Ukraine increased from 4.6% to 10.2% in total exports of goods and services.

Leaders in growing sunflowers are Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Kirovohrad, and Mykolayiv regions. almost 40% of Ukrainian sunflower grew here in 2016.

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No wonder, "Kernel" company, for which oil is a key export business, has been the first Ukrainian company that since the war has managed to place 500 million dollars of Eurobonds.

Sunflower seed, tons

Who feeds Ukraine with vegetables

Year 2016 has not become a record in the collection of vegetables, the farmers have gathered some 2.2% more crop than last year. The sole leader here is Kherson region. After the occupation of Crimea, its share in the growing of vegetables increased from 11.8% to 13.6%. The fact of its leadership has long been widely used in advertising production of tomatoes.

Vegetables, thousand tons

Potato golden land

"No complains! Take a shovel and plant potatoes and cabbage…" This famous phrase belongs to the great "classics" - former prime minister Mykola Azarov. Then, in the spring of 2011, he told the reporters that together with his wife, he plants potatoes in his field.

Later journalists from found that Azarov’s family has interests in the potato business, and in the village of Semypolok, Chernihiv region, the former prime minister has the capacity to store 10 thousand tons of potatoes.

This year potato harvest grew by almost 5%. But it is less than in 2013. Leaders of growing potatoes are Vinnytsia, Kyiv, and Lviv region. In 2016, about 23% of Ukrainian potatoes were harvested in these areas. However, do not forget that Ukraine has widespread non-industrial cultivation of potatoes.

Potatoes, thousand tons


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Sugar leaders

sugar beet, thousand tons

Again, Poltava and Vinnitsa region are at the forefront. 34% yield of sugar beet were harvested here in 2016. Sugar beet harvest in 2016 increased by 34.3%.compared to other crops.

Year 2016 was a record time in many respects. A record export of corn and sunflower oils were paralleled with the highest ever figure of exports of sugar - about 466 thousand tons.

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Ukraine continues to increase its export potential. And if taking into consideration that agricultural products are the main county’s export commodity, it turns out that Vinnytsia and Poltava regions are Ukraine’s real breadwinners.

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