The Linking Ukrainian SMEs in the Fruits and Vegetables Sector to Global and Domestic Markets and Value Chains project is funded by the Government of Sweden and implemented by the International Trade Centre (ITC). The project aims to help integrate small and medium-sized Ukrainian enterprises (SMEs) in the fruits and vegetable sector into domestic and global value chains and access new markets, with a focus on the EU. Direct beneficiaries of the project include SMEs from the selected value chains, local and sector BSOs, and related government institutions and bodies.
Agriculture and agribusiness represent a significant share of the Ukrainian economy. With 41.5 million hectares of agricultural land covering 70 percent of the country and about 25 percent of the world’s reserves of black soil, agriculture is Ukraine’s largest export industry. In 2019, Ukraine’s agriculture sector generated approximately 9% of the national GDP.
According to the foreign trade statistics, exports of fruits and vegetables (F&V), nuts have been showing consistently positive trends during 2016-2020. Despite some observed achievements, the presence of the Ukrainian exporters of the selected product groups remains low in the global economy and the EU. In particular, in the EU, Ukrainian exports represented 2% for vegetables and less than 1% for fruits in 2018.
Given the natural endowments, proximity to the EU, applied technology, and educated workforce there is an evident untapped potential in the neighbouring markets, particularly the EU. To utilize these opportunities, extra efforts and concerted actions will be required from the Ukrainian producers and all stakeholders.
The first phase of the project started in 2016 and lasts until 2021. The second phase will go from 2021 – 2024.
Phase II aims to maximize the impact of the results already achieved as well as
The Project aims to contribute to enhanced competitiveness and sustained export growth of Ukrainian SMEs in the fruits and vegetables sector.
To accomplish this, the project will target these 3 main objectives:
The project at a glance
Phase II of the project will expand upon Phase one, which proved to be beneficial to the stakeholders. Phase II will apply the same strategy while additionally expanding its coverage to the nuts product group. In order to remain efficient, the project will maintain a high level of flexibility to be able to adjust to changing environments and address the emerging needs of the target sectors.
On the enterprise level, the project will continue to work with the existing beneficiary SMEs to ensure that they reach the level of confidence necessary to ensure sustainability of their exports in target markets and generate sufficient income to invest into production and pay for services from BSOs. As in Phase I, the project will continue to scale up the number of SME beneficiaries by expanding geography and product coverage.
On the BSO level, BSOs in Ukraine are considered to have an important role in sustaining and further facilitating export growth after the project’s end. the project aims to conduct synchronized capacity-building activities for both BSOs and SMEs, so that BSOs are well-positioned to meet demands from SMEs during various stages of their internationalization and growth.
On the government level, the project will ensure the participation of government representatives in the different project activities and knowledge-sharing platforms to foster the private-public sector dialogue. It will also involve them in developing strategies to equip them to formulate strategies derived from market perspectives.
Output 1. Roadmap updated and/or developed for selected value chains.
Output 2. Capacities of SMEs strengthened to improve their international competitiveness
Output 3. Capacities of sectoral BSOs strengthened to provide SMEs with relevant business support services.
Output 4. Market linkages created for SMEs from fruits, vegetables and nuts sectors to expand their sales domestically and internationally (in particular, with a focus on the EU market).