Ukraine producers struggle to continue


Chris McCullough For Agri-View

AgUpdate - May 5, 2022


UKRAINE – Commercial pig farmers in Ukraine are facing huge logistical challenges to selling their produce in order to generate much-needed income. Russian bombs continue to kill animals and break food chains.


Pork is a vital source of protein to the Ukrainian people representing 34 percent of meat consumption there. Ukraine has about 5.5 million pigs in total, 65 percent of which are housed on commercial farms with the rest in household backyards.


The war started by Russia has created a number of logistical issues for the commercial farmers trying to sell their pigs, mostly in the regions occupied by the Russians. The backyard-production units are doing much better because they’re able to slaughter pigs on-site. They can then sell or donate the pork meat to local villagers, schools and the Ukraine army.


According to the Association of Ukrainian Pig Producers, in April 2022 five of the 24 regions of Ukraine were occupied by the Russians – Donetsk, Lugansk, Kharkiv, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia. In the pre-war period, 23 percent of commercial pork in Ukraine was produced there. Ukraine’s largest pig producer, who accounts for about 11.5 percent of the country’s commercial pork production, and the next-two-largest pig farms are all located in the Donetsk and Kharkiv regions.


The war has created a number of issues for pig farmers – mostly a lack of inputs, plus there has been destruction of many pig houses; transport to processors is difficult. Also there’s forced displacement of the labor force and consumers.


The Dnipropetrovsk region is ranked the seventh-largest in Ukraine by the size of commercial pig inventory. Being close to zones of military activities, it’s considered risky to maintain operations there due to the possibility of war escalation.


But the Association of Ukrainian Pig Producers says pig producers in 19 of the 24 regions have resumed normal operations...