LDC’s Elevator Day: how agro-exporters cooperate with small farmers

AGRI-Ukraine Export Logistics Support
20 June 2024

On June 12, USAID’s Economic Resilience Activity (ERA) attended Louis Dreyfus Company’s (LDC) Elevator Day in Vinnytsia Oblast. More than 50 local farmers were invited to the event to showcase the Rakhny elevator operated by UkrElKo, part of LDC, and promote future cooperation. LDC’s last Elevator Day was in 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic and the full-scale war.  

At the event, the Rakhny elevator representatives highlighted their grain storage capacity, modern upgrades, a new wagon rental service, and laboratory, to entice future cooperation. The elevator has a storage capacity of more than 140,000 tons. With the help of the onsite laboratory, UkrElKo can dry, ventilate, conduct pest control measures, and maintain proper conditions for the grain with modern equipment.   


Grain moves from the Rakhny elevator using LDC’s 1,200 wagons to the Black Sea ports. USAID provided LDC with 85 additional wagons to build their fleet and accelerate the export of grain.  

“In May, LDC transported 245,000 tons of grain – 10% by USAID wagons – reducing logistics costs for farmers” says Bohdan Shveda, the Head of the Wholesale Trade Group at LDC Ukraine. 

This season, LDC is testing a wagon rental service to farmers because transportation by rail is twice as cheap as by road. Bohdan Shveda explains how it works, “a farmer can bring several batches of grain to us at the elevator, we will collect and store the grain in a separate silo. Then the farmer will load their grain into a wagon rented from us and transport it independently for export. So far, this is only an experiment, but if we see farmers interested, we plan to make it permanent. In May, dozens of farmers used this service.”  

Mrs. Tetiana Kokyza is a farmer from the Shargorod district of Vinnytsia Oblast. Her family cultivates more than 2,000 hectares of leased land, where they grow wheat, rapeseed, barley, and other crops. She has been cooperating with Rakhny elevator for more than 20 years and attended the Elevator Day event.  

“We are interested in reliable partners. We have never been disappointed here; if we bring grain in the morning, the next day we collect our money,” explains Mrs. Kokyza, Head of the Agricultural Enterprise Khliborob. She continues, “If in addition to a good purchase price, Rakhny can also help with logistics, provide wagons and trailers, it will greatly help us to independently export, so we are interested.” 

The harvest will begin in Vinnytsia Oblast in July. Despite the challenges—weather conditions, war, and labor shortages—farmers hope for a good harvest and to get market prices for their grain which is bound for export to countries around the world to ensure global food security.