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HONG KONG, March 03. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine will supply 32 million tonnes of grain for export this year, rating second among producers and underperforming only the US, Ukrainian Grain Association President Vladimir Klimenko told the Hong Kong audience of an international forum reviewing Ukraine's global grain trade.
In the late 1990s, delegates heard, the country produced 30 million tonnes of grain annually and was unable to export. But last year, production exceeded 60 million tonnes, Klimenko said, certain that "in 15 more years, we shall double production and export”.
Alexei Kuzmenkov, from Ukraine's Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food, told Itar-Tass of an even higher prospect for this year, expecting 33 million tonnes to reach world markets. Dmitry Prikhodko, from the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, went even further.
“Ukrainian agricultural producers can deliver 90 million tonnes of grain a year but for this to happen, the country needs to increase the number of railway wagons to 15,000,” he said, noting that Ukraine had 32 million hectares of cropland, more than France and Germany combined.
Conference delegates highlighted Ukraine’s potential in boosting grain production and strengthening its position on world food markets such as East Asia.