Recent update: Joint Press Statement on Russia's aggression of Ukraine
Ukraine is the world’s leading exporter of barley and the most important producer of sunflower oil
Agriculture as Ukraine’s economic backbone
Agriculture is one of the strategically important sectors in Ukraine, accounting for 8.2% of the GDP and 14.5% of total goods exports in 2010. It absorbs approximately 15.8% of the total employment. Wheat is the single most important crop in terms of arable land, occupying 20.8% of the total area and accounting for 46.0% of the total output of cereals by volume in 2009. Other important crops in terms of cultivated area are barley, sunflower seed, maize, potatoes, rapeseed and soybeans.
Room for Improvement
Due to an agri-food industry with a very fragmented structure and fraught with small producers, it is essential to facilitate constant innovation to foster internationalization and competitiveness. Another problem is that production is very diverse and the degree of utilization of agricultural area of the country is very low.
Ukrainian cuisine stems from peasant dishes based on the plentiful grains and staple vegetables grown in the country. Staple crops include sugar beets, potatoes, grapes, cabbages, and mushrooms.