According to the information provided by Anatoly Kluchko, the Director of "Agro Frutika Byshkiv" enterprise with foreign investments, to the "Agrooglyad: Vegetables and Fruits" weekly journal, his company will be the largest strawberry producer in Western Ukraine this year. In 2006 "Agro Frutika Byshkiv" plans to have the first strawberry harvest on 32 hectare in Zhovkva rayon in Lviv oblast. It also means that the enterprise will become one of the largest industrial strawberry producers in Ukraine: the demand on this berry is growing by greater rates than the production now in Ukraine, Agrimarket informed.
As the Company Director said, the sales questions have been sold already. "Agro Frutika Byshkiv" does not disclose the sales channels now - the foreign (Italian) investors have probably invested not only into production but into sales too. Evaluating the strawberry acreage, we can say that practically all berry harvest will be processed. If the modern production technologies are used, the company will harvest more than 500 000 tons of strawberry this year - it is hard to sell such a volume on the freshmarket. This fact is indirectly proved by the fact that "Agro Frutika Byshkiv" plans to produce only Ukrainian strawberry varieties.
The enterprise plans to increase strawberry acreage up to 100 hectare during two-three years. Besides, about 50 ha of raspberry may be produced, and significant acreage will be allocated for blackberry. The demand on blackberry is growing by fast rates on the world market. The specialists of "Agrooglyad: Vegetables and Fruits" weekly journal estimate, if the company is able to fulfill the plans, it will invest about $1 mln. into berry production in Ukraine in the years coming.
As a reminder, the joint Ukrainian-Austrian enterprise "Luka" also produce the industrial volumes of berries (mainly strawberry and raspberry) on large acreages. The enterprise fields are located in Vinnitsa oblast. In the same region one of the largest processor of fruits and berries works - the joint Ukrainian-Austrian enterprise "Podillya Obst". The Ukrainian investors are not lagging behind: past year the enterprise "Druzhba narodov" (the division of "Mironovskiy Khleboproduct" company) planted large acreages with strawberry in AR Crimea, in view to satisfy mainly the freshmarket needs. There is an information that this year the company is going to extend acreages and introduce the own trademark for fruit and berry sales on market. There are several relatively large berry producers in Kherson oblast too; they sell the produce mainly on a freshmarket. It is interesting to mention that Poland, one of the largest strawberry producers in Europe, will decrease strawberry production significantly in 2006.
Foreign companies often inquire the Agricultural Marketing Project and "Agrooglyad: Vegetables and Fruits" weekly journal about the numerous possibilities provided by Ukrainian produce business. Some of them are interested in the investments into production; still they are still discouraged by the absence of agricultural lands market in Ukraine. That's why the investment project of "Agro Frutika Byshkiv" company will probably be one of the numerous large foreign investments into fruit and vegetable production in Ukraine in 2006.
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