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CHALLENGES OF SMALL-SCALE FARMING IN UKRAINE

Published in AgroLife Scientific Journal, Volume 8, Number 1
Written by Roman BEZUS, Olena SAMOFAL

This paper highlights the issues of small-scale farming in Ukraine. The relevance of this scientific problem is that support of small-scale farming in Ukraine is very important for the social and economic development of the country. To develop optimal marketing and management policies for rural farmers, it is necessary to determine the challenges arise in Ukrainian small-scale farming towards its path to economic development. In order to determine important factors for small Ukrainian farmers, 120 small-scale farmers from Dnipropetrovs’k region involved in dairy, honey and vegetable production were surveyed. Among the respondents there were men and women aged 23-64, having a farm, family farm or a personal peasant household. Farmers were asked to name 3 challenges that matter, and indicate the strength of their influence (weak, average or strong). In addition, 10 personal interviews with farmers were conducted in order to find out more details about the responses in the questionnaires. The study identified two major groups of challenges for small-scale Ukrainian farmers. They are challenges in production process and marketing. The study showed that in order to manage these challenges and support the development of small-scale farming in Ukraine, the following recommendations can be made: farmers need to participate actively in the development of their own community and local production; cooperation has proved successful for dairy, vegetable, berries and cereals producers; it is necessary to keep on supporting the decentralization policy in small communities; it is necessary to ensure the protection of the small-scale farmers’ rights after abolition of the moratorium on the land sale, and at the same time, to control the use of these lands; it is important to choose agricultural systems safer for land and water, than the traditional system of agriculture in Ukraine; it is important for farmers to pay attention to their managerial qualities and upgrade them through constant education and training; local community leaders need to strengthen support for rural youth in order to reduce their migration to major cities. The results of the research can be useful for small-scale farmers, rural community leaders and agricultural cooperatives’ members.

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