The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has confirmed that it will support up to 1,000 small family farms in Ukraine.
Minister McConalogue has made €750,000 available for a United Nations (UN) Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) project in Ukraine.
According to the minister, the project will support “highly vulnerable” small-holder farmers and households in rural areas at the frontline of the illegal Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine.
It will, he explained, assist them in meeting their immediate food needs and resume food production activities that have been disrupted by military activity and occupation.
Moreover, the FAO project will support efforts to build back agricultural capacity and to build up resilience of farms and households impacted most by the illegal Russian war in Ukraine.
In Ukraine, the poultry sector is a “significant” contributor to rural livelihoods and incomes, with meat and eggs playing a “key” role in household food security and nutrition.
The ongoing Russian war has resulted in the extensive loss of productive assets with a 20% loss of production capacity in the egg industry.
The beneficiary small-holder households will receive poultry production kits comprising 30 one-day-old chicks.
They will also receive feed and mineral supplements for starter stages and supports to purchase supplemental feed, medicines, feeders and vacuum drinkers on the local market.
This support will enable rural families to resume production for their own household consumption and, in doing so, to meet their immediate food needs.
Minister McConalogue commented:
“Ireland and Ukraine share many similarities – we are both rural and agricultural, with farming playing a key role in our economies and societies.”
“Farming, for both our nations, is part of the fabric of people.”
The project will be overseen by the FAO in Kyiv, whose head of office, Pierre Vauthier, said:
“During our visits to frontline communities, we were impressed and moved by the resilience of the people we encountered, many of whom had been forced to stop farming and raising livestock because of the current situation.”