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23 May 2017

Taras Vysotskyi

The National Academy of Agrarian Sciences of Ukraine (NAAS) is among the five largest land users of Ukraine and owns 401 thous. hectares of land.

This structure is one of the largest scientific associations in the world in terms of quantity of farmlands under cultivation as well as employees.

The Academy is divided into six branch offices including more than 50 research institutes, stations and centers. Nearly 20 thousand employees are engaged in 185 research farms and other enterprises.

In 2015 only 250 thous. hectares of land were cultivated by the Academy subdivisions. Since the direct responsibility of the NAAS foresees development and introduction of new methodologies, technologies and methods in the agricultural sector, it is logical to assume that the yield on these fields should not be lower than the average yield in Ukraine.

However, the analysis of published data concerning results of operating activities for 2013-2015, unfortunately, proves the contrary. In terms of the NAAS seeding structure the share of wheat, barley, corn, sunflower, soybean and rapeseed is on the average 85%. In terms of acreage structure the share of similar crops is the same on the average in Ukraine.

Thus, the NAAS reflects the seeding structure of the actual sector in order to show, in case of scaling, how to achieve the best agronomic and economic performances. However, in 2015 the structural subdivisions of the Academy showed averagely lower yield results than as the whole in Ukraine.

Results of yield in subdivisions of NAAS, 2015

Yield, c/ha

NAAS

     Agricultural enterprises on average in Ukraine

Percentage of efficiency  in relation to yield of agricultural companies

Wheat

36.0

39.9

90

Barley

28.5

30.9

92

Corn

48.4

61.1

79

Sunflower

16.1

23.0

70

Soybean

15.7

18.6

84

Rapeseed

19.9

26.1

76

Source: NAAS, State Statistics Service

It turns out that outcomes of the NAAS, the structure that should be a model of perfection for Ukraine, are much worse than the average indices of agricultural enterprises. Since the Academy is financed by the state budget, the short received harvest constitutes losses for the state.

If yielding capacity of the NAAS subdivisions was at the statistically average level in the industry, then it would be possible to collect on the declared acreage additionally 66 thousand tons of grain and 41 thousand tons of oilseeds worth nearly UAH 670 million.

The state budget allocates UAH 0.3-0.5 billion of direct appropriations per year for the NAAS. The volume of budget financing of the Academy for 2015 amounted to UAH 596 million. It means that subject to application of industry average technologies, twice as much scientific research could be performed or functioning without involving taxpayers' proceeds would be possible.

If all agricultural enterprises of the country reached the same indices of productivity as the NAAS did, 2.7 million tons of wheat less, 0.7 million tons of barley less, 5.2 million tons of corn less and 3.5 million tons of sunflower less would be gathered in 2015. Such economic management would lead to the loss of UAH 80 billion as well as would reduce foreign exchange earnings to USD 3 billion.

Therefore, it seems clear that the state forms of economic management are ineffective. In addition, there is an outstanding issue about the use of 152 thous. ha of land with regard to which the Academy has not submitted the data.

Taking into consideration inefficient use of land, it seems logical to remain scientifically reasonable amount of land for the latest developments of the NAAS, and to sell the rest of land transparently and open at the state land auctions.  

Text has been drawn up especially for Ekonomichna Pravda.




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