Ukraine produces 45% of all non-GM soybeans in Europe. Olga Shpachuk, Market Development Manager in the Donau Soja Association shared such data on the air of AgroFM.
According to her, such products are quite willingly bought in the EU countries. 16.5 million tons of soy are consumed there annually. Of these, about 80% are imports.
The main suppliers are the countries of Latin America. They have a significantly lower cost of growing this crop, better growing conditions, and huge yields. The only drawback is that their soybeans are genetically modified.
“But the European consumer wants to get ecological, healthy products and to understand the suppliers of all the ingredients of the products. Latin America for them is a distant and incomprehensible supplier. But Ukraine is much closer to the consumer and has a real opportunity to supply,” adds Vladimir Pugachev, Regional Quality Manager Donau Soja.
Now we have grown about 4 million tons of soybeans. About half is exported.
At the same time, crop yield is much lower than in the EU. If they harvest it at the level of 4 t/ha, then in Ukraine it is 2 t/ha, on average.
But if in the short term, farmers pay attention to the development of technology, then without an increase in acreage, they will be able to double harvests, Pugachev said. To this end, Donau Soja is ready to share technological developments of Serbian specialists with the Ukrainian manufacturers.
It remains the only difficulty that is to fulfill the contract for the supply of non-GM products. A specialist says that in Ukraine there are risks of mixing batches in ports. And if 9 of 1000 beans, 9 are genetically modified, the entire batch will be considered contaminated.
By the way, in the period from 2010 to 2017, the average annual growth rate of soybean production in Ukraine was 20%. Previously, this figure was estimated at 13%.