Story and Photos courtesy of Heifer Ukraine Staff
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) AgroInvest project will grant $175,000 to Heifer Ukraine cooperatives to purchase equipment, which will support milk processing and crop storage and packaging.
AgroInvest is a five-year (2011-2016) technical assistance project funded by USAID/Ukraine and managed by Chemonics International Inc. The project provides technical assistance to accelerate and broaden economic recovery in Ukraine through agricultural support and increased contributions to global food security. The project also helps Ukrainian villagers better understand and protect their rights to land and how to efficiently use it to improve their well-being and the prosperity of Ukraine.
Milk processing cooperatives Hospodar Pidhiria Cooperative Union from Storozhynets raion, Budzhak and Ivankovetskyi svitanok have each already received $25,000 grants to purchase necessary production equipment. Losiatyn, a strawberry storage cooperative, and the Lypivskyi cooperative, which sorts, packages and stores potatoes and other crops, have been preliminarily approved for $25,000 grants. The Lypivskyi cooperative plans to purchase a potato sorter and separator, grain crusher, a dryer for fruits and vegetables and a vegetable slicing machine. The equipment will improve the cooperative's value chains and support sustainability and self-reliance, one of Heifer's 12 Cornerstones for Just and Sustainable Development.
On May 11, 2013, during the celebration of Ivano-Frankivsk City Day, USAID conducted a presentation of its work to describe its projects in Ivano-Frankivsk and other neighboring communities, including Helping Rural Population Produce Organic Potato in Rohatyn Raion, Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast, and other collaborations with Heifer Ukraine's project holders and partners.
USAID AgroInvest's presentation attracted the largest crowd at the celebration. Vasyl Savytskyi, head of the Lypivskyi cooperative, talked about potato varieties, demonstrated the samples and conducted a tasting. People were very interested and asked where to find seeds and how to harvest potatoes at their homes without using chemicals.
The event also gave Savytskyi and Volodymyr Nakonechnyi, USAID AgroInvest grants and subcontracts manager, a chance to discuss Lypivskyi cooperative's project proposal, which is to be submitted to USAID this month.
During the celebration, USAID also held a produce fair, which allowed the Chysta Flora cooperative to showcase its Carpathian herbal teas. Halyna Stovpiuk, head of Chysta Flora, and her team decided to apply for a USAID grant. They hope to develop a new project proposal for additional funding.
USAID grants would not be possible without the long-standing support of Heifer Ukraine staff. The Ukraine team has helped cooperative leaders develop resources for local communities and mature through shared experiences and new skills.