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“One of the problems in Ukraine is a decline in the purchasing capacity of the population,” while Crimea “has already two million holidaymakers and the local population is much more solvent,” Nikolai Polyushkin said.
According to the minister, Ukrainian agricultural producers were actively selling in Crimea melons and gourds, and the cost of Ukrainian watermelons was much lower than that of Crimean this year.
“Despite problems with the North Crimean Canal (after Ukraine halted water supply to the peninsula along it), melons and gourds are grown in the same amounts. But they are objectively more expensive as they cannot be grown without irrigation,” Poluhshkin said, adding that water in Crimea was quite costly at present.
Crimean producers of vegetables and fruit have written several appeals to the Crimean Ministry of Agriculture, demanding a ban on cheaper Ukrainian products. But the ministry sees this inexpedient at the moment, saying Crimean producers cannot fully satisfy demands of the local market.