Ukrainian farmers will need a long-term funding after the war

Dutchman Kees Huizinga has been running a farm in the Cherkasy region for 20 years. After the war’s outbreak, he continued to run a 15 000 hectare farm and became the voice of Ukrainian farmers in Europe.

Photo: Michiel Driebergen / trouw.nl

“After two weeks in discussion with Ukrainian agrarian council they told me – please, go to the Netherlands. If there is no electricity or internet, we wouldn’t be able to communicate with people in Europe. So please go, talk to the media, talk to politicians, talk to other people,” he recalls.

Huizinga tells the world about the importance of Ukraine for food security. “Now they are beginning to understand because they feel this. Prices have skyrocketed, there is no sunflower oil, it has become 3-4-5-6 times more expensive. They see much more hunger in Africa.”

Huizinga’s farm is located in a relatively peaceful region, so it continues to work and develop despite the war in the country. The farm in the Cherkasy Region has 2,000 dairy cows and 450 breeding sows. A new cowshed and a road are being built there now.

However, about 25 employees of the farm went to the front. “Some of the others work as local guards. Our farm, as well as most farms in local villages, prepare food and send it to the Ukrainian army and to Kyiv,” Huizinga says.

Kees Huizinga emphasizes the importance of supporting Ukrainian farmers. “After the war, I really hope that Europe, the US, Canada, and other countries will provide long-term funding to Ukrainian farmers. In such a way, we will definitely be able to invest in value-added products,” says the head of the farm.

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