Business Lead & CEO of Potato Agro Konstantin Sarnatsky has stated that Ukraine should be more concerned with protectionism of the interests of its own potato producers instead of importing goods in significant volumes.
“Last marketing year, Ukraine imported potatoes worth UAH 3 billion from Russia. This is a record figure,” Sarnatsky said. In his opinion, this money could remain inside the country and Ukrainian producers working in the table potato market would provide the required volume.
Of course, state aid would allow potato growers to build vegetable stores and introduce innovations. Potato Agro has its own potato storage facility for 12 thousand tons, where modern technologies allow storing crops almost all year round. Its construction cost the company almost UAH 90 million.
When asked why the majority of producers do not have their own storage facilities, Sarnatsky gave several reasons: “First, you need to have funds for construction. You can't just get them from the bank at 2% per annum. Secondly, without irrigation it is impossible to grow potatoes of the quality that can be laid for long-term storage."
Simultaneously, Sarnatsky separates the import of table potatoes from seed material. “You cannot do without quality planting material. More than 100 own varieties have been registered in Ukraine, but it is impossible to buy a batch even for planting 10 hectares. Therefore, the import of registered seeds that have passed all quarantine procedures is mandatory. Otherwise there will be nothing to work with, Sarnatsky said.
[ UAH1 = €0.031 ]