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Ukraine sees 20% surge in agricultural trade after Polish blockade termination

The blockade initiated by Polish farmers was lifted in April 2024, after months of protests at the Ukrainian border, which severely disrupted military assistance and goods supplies, including essential drone parts for Ukraine.
polish farmers spilling ukrainian grain
Polish farmers spilling Ukrainian grain from a freight train near the Medyka-Shehyni border crossing point amid the ongoing border blockade. Poland, 20 February 2024. Photo: Suspilne Lviv
Ukraine sees 20% surge in agricultural trade after Polish blockade termination

The decision to lift the blockade of border checkpoints between Ukraine and Poland is yielding positive results, including a 20% increase in the flow of Ukrainian agricultural products, First Deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine Taras Vysotskyi told Ukrainian Radio in a recent interview.

The 2023 blockade by Polish farmers disrupted Ukrainian aid and goods supplies, including drone parts. They blocked checkpoints, affecting truck movement and disrupting ports and roads. This action benefited Russia by undermining Ukraine’s economy amid its two-year war.

Last month, Polish farmers stopped protesting at the last blocked border crossing with Ukraine. However, the authorities said that Ukrainian agriculture production will still face some restrictions from Poland.

After the farmers left the checkpoints, Ukraine began witnessing growth in the volume of trade turnover.

“Polish farmers are ending the blockade, which is a very positive decision because logistics is a significant part of the final cost of sales and product delivery. The cheaper the logistics, the higher the price a Ukrainian farmer will receive and will have more resources to continue working. If we look at the numbers for the second decade of April and today, after the full lifting of the blockade, we practically have a 20% increase,” said the official.

Vysotskyi told Ukrainske Radio about Ukraine’s efforts to unlock the border. For instance, at the end of March, members of Ukrainian agrarian associations met with various Polish ministerial bodies.

“It was tense but effective dialogue, where we managed to explain in numbers that a Ukrainian farmer did not constitute a problem for Polish farmers. Then, we held several intermediary sector-specific meetings, culminating in agreements confirmed on 23 April. When the situation was resolved, we agreed to hold another joint call on 7 May,” said Vysotskyi.

The official said he hoped that the cooperation between Ukraine and Poland, set up during the blockade, would help both states find a solution to avoid the same crisis in the future.

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