President Viktor Yushchenko signed a decree to develop the national grain market after a meeting with Ukraine’s grain traders, farmers and agricultural officials on Tuesday, President’s press office reports.

The President says in his decree the Government must liberalize the grain market and regulate it in a transparent, public and predictable manner. He calls Government interference unacceptable, stressing the need to hold consultations with grain traders and farmers before regulating grain prices and develop loan, insurance and other mechanisms to support farmers, and says the Cabinet must ensure there is enough food in its reserves to guarantee the country’s food security.

Yushchenko demands that the Government has to propose amendments to Ukraine’s social laws and raise the living wage to satisfy the needs of the people and improve the quality of what they eat and drink.

The Government has to propose changes to the Law on State Support for the Agricultural Sector, the Law on External Economic Activity, the Law on Grain and the Grain Market and the Law on Prices and Price Formation within the next three months and has five months to propose a revised text of the Law on Stock Market and a bill to improve the insurance of agricultural risks.

Yushchenko also wants the Government to draft and pass a State program on the development of the national grain market in 2008-2015 in cooperation with farmers and grain traders. He believes the program will create conditions for harvesting at least 50 million tons of grain annually and will help increase the economic efficiency of the national agricultural sector and import agricultural equipment and high-quality seeds. He also suggests establishing a special service to monitor, analyze and forecast grain market tendencies and provide its participants with necessary information.

The Government has to formulate compensatory mechanisms to make Ukraine’s WTO accession less painful for Ukrainian farmers and adopt a state program to develop the bakery industry, especially by giving loans to those wishing to open small bakeries.

The Cabinet has one month to reinforce Ukraine’s positions on the international grain market and must ensure the country more actively participates in the International Grain Council.

Yushchenko’s other demand is to pass a land market law and approve measures to adapt Ukraine’s standards and assessment procedures to international standards.


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