Ambassador Tefft Tours UkrLandFarming Facilities in Poltava and Kyiv
November 5, 2012
Ambassador John F. Tefft visited facilities of UkrLandFarming (ULF) in Poltava and Kyiv on November 5, 2012. ULF is the leading agro-industrial company in Ukraine, with yearly revenue over $2 billion. ULF is ranked #1 in Ukraine in cattle and meat, crops, and distribution, and #2 in sugar. They are the #1 producer in Ukraine and #2 globally of shell eggs. ULF is the largest agricultural holding in Ukraine in terms of acreage, at 532,000 hectares (the equivalent of 1.3 million acres). They also distribute agricultural equipment: John Deere tractors and specialized mounted equipment, as well as spare parts.
ULF invited the Ambassador to tour three of their sites accompanied by the company CEO, Oleh Bakhmatyuk. Ambassador Tefft started the day with a tour of the Lokhvytsia Silo Complex in Poltava Oblast. The facility was constructed in 2009 with a capacity of 266,000 tons of wheat/grain. Its capacity is expected to increase to 500,000 tons by the end of 2012. In 2012 ULF started a program to increase capacity. The new silos and grain dryers are manufactured by the U.S. firms GSI and Chief. The catwalks are manufactured by the U.S. companies LeMar and Johnson Systems. The Ambassador next visited ULF’s Eastern Regional Centre also located in Poltava Oblast. The center is the local headquarters for one of the operational clusters and a parking site for ULF’s extensive fleet of agricultural machinery, including U.S. John Deere tractors and implements. The Ambassador finished the day at the ULF Head Office in Kyiv for a presentation in ULF’s Central Control Room – a centralized IT system that tracks, monitors and can control machinery engaged in field operations. The main purpose is to ensure correct usage of company assets. ULF can remotely control agricultural machinery, appliances, trucks and other vehicles as well as video cameras. Cisco Telepresence connects ULF holdings throughout Ukraine.
The Ambassador noted the use of state-of-the-art U.S. equipment and technology such as John Deere combines and tractors, GSI grain silos, Cisco information systems, and Monsanto crop protection and high yield seeds. Financing the purchase of these types of equipment and technologies doesn’t come cheap, but the U.S. EXIM Bank (Export-Import Bank of the United States) supports the purchase of U.S. exports at reasonable rates. Ukraine is the most active country in the region for U.S. exports financed through U.S. EXIM. U.S. EXIM assists Ukrainian firms like UkrLandFarming to reach their full potential in the agricultural industry and further contribute to global food security. In closing remarks at the ULF Head Office, Ambassador Tefft expressed his hope that U.S. exports would continue to contribute greatly to the agricultural development of Ukraine.