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Ukraine attracts EU pig investors despite ASF

Several European companies are currently working on plans to launch pig farms in Ukraine, despite the ongoing epidemic of African Swine Fever (ASF) in the country.

To name a few, recently Danish company Agro East reported that it plans to start farming in the Zhitomir region by the end of 2019. This region is The company targets to establish a farm designed for 25,000 pigs, said Vadim Shestakov, director of Dan Farm Ukraine, a subsidiary of Agro East. The farm has already been under construction for some while and 80% of the production sites have already been put into operation, Mr Shestakov said.

Pigs on an (older) farm in Ukraine – where state cattle farms had been converted to finisher pig farms. Photo: Henk Riswick
Pigs on an (older) farm in Ukraine – where state cattle farms had been converted to finisher pig farms. Photo: Henk Riswick

Investments in new projects from Germany

In addition, German pig producing companies Poels Mastschweine and Tierproduktion Alkersleben have plans to build 2 pig farms in Lviv region (in the far west) designed for 4,500 or 5,000 pigs each. That is what Luc Poels indicated, the Dutch owner of the companies, during his meeting with the regional administration in March 2019.

These 2 companies run 2 pig farms in Eastern Germany and the new farms in Ukraine will be very similar, Mr Poels stressed, adding that in this project the companies would like to attract local resources and cooperate with the local agricultural producers. At the moment, the investors are looking for the land under the project.

Oleg Sinyutka, chairman of the Lviv regional administration said that Ukraine offered good investment climate to the foreign investors.

Pork investments from Denmark

Another example of investment is Goodvalley Ukraine, a Danish project, which unveiled plans to invest € 4 million into construction of a meat processing plant in the country. Goodvalley Ukraine is one of the biggest pork producers in Ukraine and has been heavily investing into its production capacities in the past several years.

Read also: ASF wipes the Myrgorod pig breed out of existence

ASF ruins the industry

The foreign investors launched their projects in Ukraine even despite the new ASF outbreaks are being reported in Ukraine every week. In total, there were nearly 400 outbreaks registered in Ukraine over the past few years, with dozens of pig farms involved and the direct losses of the industry reached 150 million hryvnia (US$ 5.5 million), said Nikolay Babenko, general director of the Ukraine’s centre for improvement in the livestock industry.

Read also: Even stray cats are not safe due to ASF in Ukraine

Both pig population and pork production have been seen steadily falling over the past years, not only because of the direct impact from ASF, but also because the national government has no money to reimburse financial losses to the farmers, Mr Babenko said. That resulted in the fact that farmers prefer to not report about the outbreaks to veterinary services, putting infected pork up for sale. As of today, there is an entire shadow market of the pork infected with ASF in Ukraine, Mr Babenko said.

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