USAID ERA participates in Maritime days in Odesa

26 June 2024

On June 20-21 in Odesa, representatives of the USAID Economic Resilience Activity (USAID ERA) and select partner agricultural companies took part in the two-day annual conference “Maritime Days in Odesa 2024,” organized by the international legal company Interlegal. The conference has been held since 2005 and for the second time during wartime, which shows how important the topic of agricultural exports is for Ukraine. 

During the event, leading experts in the fields of shipping, logistics and grain trading talked about wartime risks in maritime transportation and insurance and legal issues related to container and oil transportation. They also shared plans for the new grain year and predicted how to respond to the challenges facing them and the Ukrainian market. 

The session, “Investing cannot be wasted: successful investments in stormy times,” was devoted to case studiesof successful investing, a very bold step to take in wartime. Speakers shared their decision-making process and talked about their vision for business prospects. 

Anastasia Vankova, the head of trading and logistics of grain and oil crops of USAID ERA partner Agromino agricultural holding, spoke about the company’s investments during the war. A year ago, Agromino purchased a bulker with which it began exporting through the Ukrainian grain corridor. 

“Our company has 42,000 hectares of land, with approximately 30,000 in the Kharkiv region. About 6,000 hectares have been mined. We are also one of the last enterprises that continues to work in the Vovchan district of Kharkiv Oblast, which is under constant shelling,” she said.  “We realized that depending on someone during the season can lead to a decrease in our margin, for example, due to the idleness of wagons and ships, as well as rates for freight and transshipment increase. And the loss of margins will not allow us to cover the losses that we bear in Kharkiv Oblast due to hostilities. This stimulated us to obtain the status of a port operator and purchase a second vessel, which is currently being loaded in one of the ports of Greater Odessa.” 

Participants also talked about plans for the new marketing year, expectations for the 2024 harvest, exchanged contacts and established new partnerships for further communication so that grain exports from Ukraine during the war continue to support Ukraine’s economy and allow the industry to be more stable in unstable times.