President Viktor Yushchenko has opened a meeting on the development of the national grain market in the town of Shpola (Cherkasy region). Its participants are expecteddiscussthe most pressing problemsin the country’s agricultural sector, President’s press office reports.

Yushchenko said the current state of the grain market “prepares one thing for us: the situation will get worse every year if we now fail to resolve the key problems in its organization.” He said the Government “constantly interferes” in the sector, calling many of its grain policies “remarkably absurd and negative.” He reprimanded the cabinet of Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych for using non-market methods.

“These administrative and restrictive measures are not professional and responsible,” he said and added that the cabinet’s attempts to regulate grain prices were reminiscent of the Soviet times “15 years ago, when the agricultural complex was a separate ministry and the nation was fed because of the dumping grain price.”

He said this policy showed that the Government was “ungifted” and “deprives millions of those who live and work in villages of their opportunities.” A state that does not promote commercial interests in agriculture often has to import grain, he said. “I want those who want to keep grain in the Odesa’s ports to understand this. This policy leads nowhere.”

The Presidentsaid Ukrainian farmers, unfortunately, did not benefit from this year’s growing grain prices. He asked those present at the meeting to propose changesto his draft decree on the development of the grain market.


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