Almost half of the Ukrainian farmers work illegally

During the roundtable “Budget Pie-2019: Opportunities and Challenges”, head of UCAB, Taras Vysotsky, stated that 30-45% of Ukrainian farmers are working underground. According to experts, the situation can only be improved by changing the mechanisms of distributing budget money for the agricultural sector, writes “Agro-Center”.

In Ukraine, the percentage of farmers involved in underground businesses is rather high: in vegetable growing sector it exceeds 80%, in meat production – 60%, in milk and dairy production – 40%. The numbers continue to grow.

Yuriy Lupenko, head of the Institute of Agrarian Economics of the National Academy of Agrarian Sciences of Ukraine said that state programs of budget support for the agricultural sector for 2018-2019 touched “the most painful points of the strategic sector of the economy of Ukraine.” It should contribute to the improvement of the underground agricultural businesses situation.

“Ukraine will be able to get agro-industrial complex out of stagnation by concentrating on the support of farming, animal farming, and agricultural machinery producers,”

noted Yuriy Lupenko.

However, farmers do not really rely on the state because the mechanisms of budget funds allocation are far from perfect. Vice President of SigmaBleyzer and AgroGeneration, Vladislava Magoletskaya, commented on the situation:

“Many entrepreneurs do not seek state support because they fear further problems. It is difficult to understand when inspectors will visit and how they will inspect… “,

she explained.

Let’s recall that in early August, President Petro Poroshenko signed the law “On stimulating the activity of farms”. The document seriously changes the way people work in the village.

Those who grow produce can now get the status of farmers, an ability to legally sell their products and a right to receive a pension. The authorities are trying to help farmers and stimulate the disappearance of underground businesses.

However, the owners, who have been engaged in farming for a long time, are skeptical about the prospects that the new law might provide. They see two major threats – pushiness of inspectors and the state’s inability to fulfill the promises.

“The law is good, but what of it? How will it work? At the local level, laws do not apply. The fiscal authorities never work legally here. The tax police did not have a right to go from farm to farm “trick or treating” after the law changed. Why would a farmer have an official business if that means visits from “trick or treaters”? A farmer doesn’t have to worry about this if they are working underground”,

said the president of the Association of Farmers and Private Landowners of Ukraine, Nikolai Strizhak.

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