Plentiful Harvest from USAID-Supported Ukrainian Farmer Means Fewer Will Go Hungry

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Monday, November 21, 2022
Ivan Dovhanyk, a farmer who grows vegetables in Lviv Oblast and participant in the #HorodynaUA seed distribution project supported by USAID AGRO
USAID AGRO activity

Ivan Dovhanyk is a farmer in Zibolky, Lviv Oblast, where he grows grains and the traditional borscht vegetable set: beets, carrots, cabbage, and potatoes. Due to Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine in the spring, he canceled plans to buy farm equipment, but decided to plant more vegetables to help the country ensure food security. Ivan focused specifically on the borscht vegetable set because there is always a demand for them and they grow well in the area.

USAID has helped increase crop production in Ukraine through a seed distribution project known as #HorodynaUA. Through it, Ivan received free vegetable seeds that he planted on about 40 percent of his land, approximately eight hectares. He harvested a good crop: 40 tons of beets, 25 tons of carrots, 50 tons of potatoes. And he expects to harvest about 60 tons of cabbage. This year, Ivan had such a plentiful harvest that he needed help from his neighbors and family to collect all the vegetables. 

“No matter how uncertain the situation in the spring was, I planted a lot of vegetables this year because I wanted them to be available to everyone. We had a good harvest, and now there is enough for my family, and to sell and to share with those who need it. Despite the little rain, it was a bountiful harvest; I got about 180 tons of vegetables,” says Ivan.

In response to Russia’s invasion, USAID and the Ukrainian Berry Association launched the #HorodynaUA project to support households and small farmers with high-quality seeds to help ensure Ukrainians’ food security. A total of 4,108 farmers in 12 regions received seeds. As a result, agricultural enterprises and households were able to grow more than 5,000 tons of vegetables, which is enough to feed about 44,000 people for one full year (based on the average annual consumption of about 112 kilograms of vegetables per person). In addition to seeds, the project also provided consultations on growing and protecting vegetables.

Ivan has already started to sell his vegetables at Shuvar, the largest wholesale market of agricultural products in Ukraine’s western region.

Despite the difficult times, Ivan has ambitious plans for next year: to expand the farm and warehouse for storing vegetables, and to purchase new equipment. But what he dreams about the most is peace in Ukraine.

Last updated: November 25, 2022

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