Ambassador Yovanovitch’s Remarks at the Launch Event for the USAID Agriculture and Rural Development Support (ARDS) Project

February 21, 2017
Kyiv

Доброго дня, Members of Parliament, distinguished guests.

Thank you for allowing me to share a few thoughts on how we can partner for agricultural growth and rural development in Ukraine.

Despite its challenges, agriculture in Ukraine has found ways to grow and thrive, and agriculture remains a major source of revenue and growth for the Ukrainian economy.

Ukraine is already a global player in the agricultural field, but there is tremendous potential for even more.

With few opportunities for employment, we all know that young people raised in rural communities sometimes move to the big cities in search of the better future. It doesn’t have to be this way. We need that young blood to develop entrepreneurial initiatives and creativity.

For this to change, the Government of Ukraine and the private sector should stimulate investment to rural areas and provide opportunities for young people to remain.

We believe that private sector partners, many of them people right here in this room, have a key role to play. You are the ones who understand the agricultural sector’s potential to harness technological innovation and grow high value crops.

We also know that you see strong potential for further agricultural growth in Ukraine, just as we do. Just as many American companies do. That is why we are here today, to build a partnership where public and private sectors work together to transform agriculture and to create attractive livelihoods in rural communities.

The new 21 million dollar USAID Agriculture and Rural Development Support project we are launching today will partner with the Government of Ukraine and the private sector, to do just that.

It will promote increased productivity and better products to meet international standards. It will also encourage much needed market-oriented reforms.

Working together, we will maintain a relentless focus on delivering results. Results that connect farmers to new markets in the European community and beyond. Results that protect one of Ukraine’s most precious natural resources— its black soil – while harnessing this resource sustainably. And results that create improved livelihoods in rural communities.

To make this dream a reality, I ask for your boldness and creativity. Explore what has not been tried. Consider solutions that will truly have a transformative impact and which benefit the many, not just a few.

Working together, I know that we can accelerate broad-based, transparent, and inclusive economic growth to benefit all Ukrainians.

Бажаю Вам успіхів! Дякую!