"We simply will not survive without lending," agronomist Serhii Lutsenko

The first experimental agricultural station on the territory of the Sumy region was opened in 1905. An eight-acre experimental field was set up in accordance with the decision of the Kharkiv Provincial Land at the Sumy Agricultural School. Almost 120 years have passed since then, but plant breeding is still practiced here.

After many reorganizations and name changes, since 2002 the "Research Farm of the Institute of Agriculture of the Northeast of the National Academy of Agrarian Sciences of Ukraine" has been operating on this land. Serhiy Anatoliyovych Lutsenko has been working here as the chief agronomist for many years.

Today, there are two areas of activity in the economy - crop production and livestock production. In the first weeks of the full-scale war, the farm was under Russian occupation. Serhiy Anatoliyovych says that only work saved him from hopelessness: "People were scared, but they found strength in themselves and worked. Time passed so quickly. And thanks to our employees, we were able to almost completely preserve the dairy herd. And we distributed milk to people, because there was nowhere to sell it anyway."

Of course, in the conditions of a full-scale war, it is not easy for such an economy to survive. "It became more difficult to work. It is not known what will happen tomorrow. Our farm is located in the Sumy region, and here the most expensive logistics is to take out agricultural crops from us. All this affects the price, which is the lowest in Ukraine. Also, we employ about 130 people, and we should pay salaries and taxes. There is a catastrophic lack of funds," says Serhiy Anatoliyovych.

The only way out in such a situation is lending, but even here there are certain problems. "Since we are a state-owned enterprise, almost no one gives us loans, although there were state programs to which we applied, but the result was negative," explains the chief agronomist.

In such conditions, the optimal solution to problems for the Institute is commodity lending. "We have a successful history of cooperation with Agro Arena, which has been going on for over 7 years. At various stages of our cooperation, we purchased seed material, mineral fertilizers, and crop protection products from them. It was always a very productive partnership - we received high-quality products, professional advice, prompt delivery, and we always tried to fulfill our obligations on time. This year, too, the support of "Agro Arena" was very timely - we worked in the field of seed materials and received a commercial credit for corn seeds and silage hybrid. It is very important that the company has the opportunity to lend to farmers thanks to the support of the USAID’s Agriculture Growing Rural Opportunities Activity (AGRO). In the conditions of war, such support is crucial. Thanks to this help, we can count on positive work results, so we plan to continue to work and develop our cooperation," emphasizes Serhiy Anatoliyovych.

Agricultural producers often think about the question of whether it is worth taking credit, participating in commodity credit programs, or whether it is possible to look for other ways to solve their financial problems. Serhiy Anatoliyovych has an affirmative answer to these questions: "Today, it is impossible to develop without credit, and in some places even to survive. Only those farms with a lot of land and few workers can afford to work without loans. Without lending, we simply cannot survive. I think that during the war, such commodity lending programs are extremely important, as they give farmers the opportunity to survive in extremely difficult conditions and work for victory."

To become a participant in the commodity lending project "Farmer, loan for you", submit an application on the website or call the hotline number 0-800-307-001. All details are on the website: www:agro-arena.com.ua.
The activity made possible through support provided by the U. S. Agency for International Development (USAID) through the USAID’s Agriculture Growing Rural Opportunities Activity (AGRO) implemented by Chemonics International
The activity made possible through support provided by the U. S. Agency for International Development (USAID) through the USAID’s Agriculture Growing Rural Opportunities Activity (AGRO) implemented by Chemonics International
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