SIMFEROPOL, July 30, /ITAR-TASS/. Agricultural producers from the regions of Ukraine bordering Crimea are trying to work more actively on the Crimean market, Nikolai Polyushkin, agriculture minister of the autonomous republic told reporters Wednesday.
"One of the problems Ukraine is faced with today is the fall of the population's purchasing power and the producers simply don't have where to sell their crops,” Polyshkin said. “In the meantime, there are about 2.0 million holidaymakers in Crimea at the moment and the local population is much more solvent, too.”’
In part, Ukrainian farmers are actively selling melons and gourds in Crimea and the prices of Ukrainian watermelons are much lower this year than of the Crimean ones.
“In spite of the problems with the North Crimean Canal (a duct for supplies of water from the river Dnieper to Crimea, which Ukraine blocked after Crimea’s reunification with Russia - Itar-Tass) the production of gourds hasn’t decreased in Crimea but for objective reasons they are more expensive because you won’t grow them here without irrigation,” Polyushkin said.
“While in the Kherson region water doesn’t cost virtually anything, here it costs quite a lot and that’s why there’s a considerable difference between the prime cost of the Kherson watermelons and ours,” he said.
Crimean producers of vegetables and fruit have sent several appeals to the republic’s Agriculture Ministry where they demanded to ban the imports of less expensive Ukrainian goods but the ministry officials believe such bans would be groundless, in part, due to the inability of Crimean producers to fully meet the demand of the regional market.
“Statistics on the volumes of imports and exports shows any blocking of imports is out of the question at the moment,” Polyushkin said. “Trade (with Ukrainian producers) must exist and it shouldn’t be constricted artificially, only for the purposes of security.”
Authorities recommend the Crimean farmers to engage more actively in competitive struggle with traders from across the border and to attend more actively fairs on the territory of Crimea.