Ukraine: Soil fertility to strengthen climate resilience
Directions in Investment series - N.9 - 2014
Ukraine is renowned as the breadbasket of Europe thanks to its black Chernozem soils that offer exceptional agronomic conditions, due to its high composition of organic matter. However, its benefits are being threatened by increasing soil erosion, which has been exacerbated by excessive land tillage and negative impacts of climate change. The estimated 500 million tonnes of soil eroded annually in Ukraine, valued to be around one-third of gross domestic product (GDP), and the resulting loss of soil fertility across 32.5 million hectares has meant a demand for additional resources to maintain productivity levels and thus an increase in production costs.
Under the cooperation between FAO and the World Bank, the FAO Investment Centre has published “Ukraine: Soil fertility to strengthen climate resilience”, which is a preliminary assessment of the potential benefits of Conservation Agriculture (CA) – on the farm, national, and global levels. The publication is intended for policymakers and potential investors to understand concretely what is at stake if the drivers of soil erosion are not properly addressed. It offers suggested areas of investment, including on the verification of preliminary estimates, land markets, agricultural technology, financial services and risk management.