December 2016—Irrigation systems are critical to the success of farms in the southern Ukraine oblast of Kherson, a region marked by hot summers that produce little rain. Here, where the Adelaida farm is located, farmers haven’t had the resources to rehabilitate old Soviet systems or develop more modern ones due to a stagnant economy.
Existing systems were designed for use with diesel, which wasted money and ate up potential profit. Farmers muddled along, surviving, but never prospering.
“We understood that new technologies and new irrigation approaches would have to replace old irrigation systems if we were to be a successful farming business,” explained Sergey Rybalko, head of the Adelaida farm in the village of Chulakivka. “But until now, we couldn’t afford the costs for a new system.”
Then the Adelaida farmers heard about the USAID Water for Agri Sector activity, an effort to promote water for farming in Kherson. The farm won a grant for construction of an irrigation water supply pipeline in February 2016, with the condition that it contribute 30 percent of the project cost.
The Adelaida farm used their own funds to build modern, efficient sprinkling machines and a pumping station, while USAID contributed nearly 3,300 meters of new pipes.
Today, the farm’s productivity has tripled with an additional 279 hectares of irrigated land and 180 more workers.
Rybalko notes that the new system has reduced energy consumption fourfold and has replaced well water with lake water, which is more suitable for irrigation with its lower salinity level and warmer temperature.
The farm’s expansion will also benefit the 3,000 landowners and shareholders associated with the Adelaida farm. The village will obtain additional revenues for its budget—funds which will be used to improve community facilities and social infrastructure.
“This is only the beginning,” said Rybalko. “We have much more to do.”
USAID’s Water for Agri Sector project works to refurbish water infrastructure systems and improve water supply for rural residents as well as for agricultural production in selected communities in Kherson oblast. The USAID’s Water for Agri Sector project works to refurbish water infrastructure systems and improve water supply for rural residents as well as for agricultural production in selected communities in Kherson oblast. The project, which runs from January 2015 through January 2017, has trained 310 people on creation and operation of the water supply management cooperatives and has helped to create and register three cooperatives. Six improved water supply sites are put into operation.
Last updated: December 06, 2016