John Shmorhun, President of the France-based agroholding AgroGeneration that operates 110,000 hectares of farmland in Ukraine, tells about decision-making, management autonomy, business performance and collaboration with small farms in his interview to Landlord.ua.
Vertically integrated agroholdings are typical of Ukrainian agriculture. However, there is a growing tendency for agroholdings to engage in horizontal integration by collaborating with small farms. Is AgroGeneration engaged in such cooperation?
Yes, we have the programs of cooperation with different farms in the regions where we operate, with a focus primarily on exchanging information, experience and technologies. For example, if a certain hybrid crop has proven productive on our fields, we share this information with the neighboring farmers. We also practice the shared use of our elevators.
Such cooperation meets the interests of all involved parties. We, as an agroholding, are concerned that all the fields in the region be cultivated promptly, the technologies be implemented at all farms simultaneously, and fertilizers or plant protection products be purchased collectively. Such cooperation is mutually beneficial, logical and natural. That is why we encourage it. However, the best way to help small farmers is to support them financially through government programs. This would make the small farmers leave the “grey market”, where many of them are currently compelled to operate.