Ukraine has no critical need of dairy imports, as nearly 65% of dairy companies in the country are maintaining operations despite the continuing Russian invasion, the Ukraine union of dairy enterprises said in a statement.
Arsen Didura, executive director of the organisation, estimated that given the warehouse stocks of dairy products the domestic demand could be met by Ukrainian companies in the near future.
The country’s per capita milk production is likely to rise from 212 kg in 2021 to 229 kg in 2022, the union of dairy enterprises estimated.
It is believed that most dairy cows in the country are concentrated in the central and western regions, where no active fights with the Russian troops have taken place yet.
Given the large stocks and sustainable production, adding dairy products to the list of critical commodities leads to a “useless waste of precious foreign exchange funds,” the organisation said in the statement.
Besides, dairy imports would hinder domestic dairy production, and consequently, hamper raw milk production, the union added.
On 24 February, the first day of the Russian invasion, the Ukraine cabinet of ministers approved a list of critical commodities that were allowed to be imported into the country. On 28 February, the list was expanded with milk, cream, butter, and cheese. On 10 March, the authorities added whey, and on 13 March, condensed milk, yoghurt, kefir, and other fermented or fermented dairy products.
On 20 March, the ministers also added milking machines and other equipment for milk production or processing to the list of critical commodities.
In this context, the government should focus on supporting the domestic dairy industry, paying special attention to preserving the number of milk cows, the union said.
Withdrawing milk and dairy products from the list of critical commodities should help to beat that goal, the union claimed.
As stated by the minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine, Mykola Solsky, the country has sufficient food reserves, including dairy products.
“We have reserves for basic food products for several years. Since we have a lot of grains, and some of them are [used in] animal feed, we will definitely have meat and dairy products. And there is no particular cause for concern in this case,” Solsky said.