On 27 November 2019 farmers from whole Ukraine, Ukrainian as well as those whose business is related to foreign investments, have united and established Association of Agrarians of Ukraine (AAU). By such act the united agrarians declared that they are, first of all, Ukrainian farmers, working here in Ukraine for the benefit of Ukraine and its economy, and secondly, they declared their decision to fight for their right to survive and further develop.
AAU will promote basic values of freedom, democracy, equality, rule of law and free market. Those values are fundamental for Ukraine to become a prosperous country. We believe that Ukraine will eventually achieve such goal.
We also believe in Ukraine´s belonging to of the prosperous European family and that we will soon see it as a full EU member. The fact that business financed both by Ukrainian and foreign capital will be able to develop side by side, will be the best proof of positive changes and orientation of Ukraine to Western values.
Ukraine has made significant progress towards modern Western economy when, in the first reading, the deputies of Verkhovna Rada voted for the draft act, which allows purchase of agricultural land not only to own citizens and Ukrainian companies, but also Ukrainian companies with foreign capital, which work in Ukraine for a certain amount of time. Even with the restrictions currently contained in the draft act in respect of foreign owned companies, the approach taken by the legislators will prevent speculations, land market will be set up and together with it also the growth of Ukrainian economy. The land market will work as efficiently as other existing markets, such as consumer food, automotive, housing or services markets.
Today, unfortunately, we are observing attempts to destroy progressive approach which are led by populists who do not look for modern, democratic and prosperous Ukraine. They divide farmers and society only for their own interests and political ambitions. The most famous of these groups is Vseukrainska Agrarna Rada (VAR). With the support from some of the oligarchs, VAR is the most active organization which instructs farmers, its own members, how much machinery and people to send to Kyiv to organize protests against the government, free market and economy.
We believe that the Ukrainian government together with the majority in parliament will upholdthe values of liberal democracy with future prosperity of Ukraine in their mind. We hope that they will ensure fair and balanced approach to all existing participants in the future reformed land market. In order for this to happen the progressive powers shall unite around the ideas of reforms and equal opportunities for the development of the agrarian sector, formation of a favourable business environment for enhancing national prosperity and economic growth, confident move of Ukraine to the best European standards of living andprevent rollback towards decline and stagnation.
The question of land market and attempt to divide Ukraine from Europe are not the only problems which cause concerns to us. All farmers operating in Ukraine, regardless of nationality of their owners, have encountered in one way or another raider attacks, lack of rule of law and bureaucracy. AAU´s activities will also focuse on addressing these issues.
Necessity to concentrate our efforts to uphold modern principles in Ukrainian agriculture is also clearly demonstrated by the fact that our association is already at the beginning represented by the members with Ukrainian, European an American investments, who are cultivating altogether around 0,5 million hectares of land.
The ultimate aim of our association is to unite all Ukrainian farmers, with own as well as foreign capital, who respect pro-European choice of Ukraine, democratic values and principles of free market economy.
We want to be a connecting link and provide high-quality and objective feedback to the foreign investment and business environment regarding real steps towards protecting foreign investment in Ukraine.
The activity of Association of Agrarians of Ukraine will be focused on legal “white” lobbyism of interests of our members and partners before the governmental and law enforcement authorities, as well as on protection of members´ rights and ownership by means of direct and constructive dialogue with the public, politicians and institutions in order to create favourable and competitive environment for agrarian business.