Friday, 18 January 2013

Chinese Ukrainian agricultural cooperation

I've seen plenty of Chinese delegations whizzing in and out of Kyiv's top hotels over the last couple of years and it seems to be paying dividends.

Trade between the two countries now exceeds 10 billion usd.

China, the worlds largest consumer of corn is planning to buy 3.0mmt annually over the coming years. 

Well done Ukraine for securing a major buyer.

Seemingly China sees Ukraine as a strategically important partner in securing food supplies and has provided a 3 billion usd loan to help bring the countries farming up to scratch. 

I suspect the bulk of this wont end up anywhere near a farm and what does will be carved up by various agencies trying get a slice of the action.

Although 3 billion usd is not to be sniffed at, to keep it in context I estimate Ukraine needs about 50 billion usd in to farming alone plus further significant investment in agricultural education to update the workforce plus a large cash injection to improve research, plant breeding and animal genetics plus a further huge amount for infrastructure, transports, drying and storage and if there's anything left over something to rebrand Ukraine as an international food producer. 

Each journey starts with the first step.