Professorin Dr. Olena Kotykova
(April - September 2023)
- Doctor of Economics Science
- Professor of the Department of Accounting and Economic Analysis at Admiral Makarov National University of Shipbuilding, Ukraine
- President of Public Organization "Regional Center of European Educational Scientific Enterprises", Ukraine
- Expert of National Agency for Quality Assurance in Education, Ukraine
- Expert of National Research Foundation of Ukraine, Ukraine
Fellow-Projekt: "Formation of the food potential of Ukraine on the basis of sustainable development of agriculture in the conditions of war“
On the world market, Ukraine is considered one of the largest suppliers of food - and this is true. So why do we ask this question? Ukraine has the highest level of arable land in Europe, but the level of consumption of animal products does not meet rational standards. Due to the long-term ban on the sale of agricultural land, the development of farming, as it has historically happened in other countries, is insignificant. Instead, giant agricultural holdings (over 100,000 hectares of arable land) appeared, which use advanced production technologies, but do not take care of the social development of villages and environmental problems caused by their activities. Just as unexpectedly, small farms (less than 1 ha of arable land) have a significant impact on the provision of agricultural products, where it is difficult to investigate the quality of products and their compliance with standards. So, we see the problems, but we still haven't found a solution to them. Our scientific work is focused on the study of the impact of various factors, such as the intensity of conflicts, climate variability, economic cyclicality, epidemics, etc., on the formation of food potential, provided that the balanced use of resources in the agricultural sector is ensured.
Results of the fellowship
I started research work on the problems of implementing the model of sustainable development of agricultural land use in 2000, after entering graduate school. In 2003, a dissertation was defended on the topic "Ecological and economic efficiency of using the potential of land resources (based on the materials of agricultural formations of the Mykolaiv region)" for obtaining the degree of candidate of economic sciences (PhD) in the specialty of economics of agriculture and agribusiness. After completing the work on the candidate's thesis, research was focused on a deeper understanding of the concept of sustainable development in general and sustainable development of agricultural land use in particular, which initiated a new stage of scientific work. The result of the work of this period was the defense of a doctoral dissertation in 2011 on the topic "Organizational and economic foundations of sustainable development of agricultural land use" for obtaining the scientific degree of Doctor of Economic Sciences, majoring in economics and management of the national economy.
The conclusions obtained as a result of the dissertation studies proved the false perception of the land resource by producers of agricultural products, only as an economic component of the production cycle, without taking into account the environmental and social consequences of their activities for the consumers of their products. This prompted us to find a solution to this dilemma in a way that would satisfy both the first and the second - the main attention was focused on the development of the topic "Organizational and economic mechanism of food supply on the basis of sustainable development of agricultural land use". In parallel, research was conducted on the topics "Formation and development of ecologically safe land use in agricultural enterprises" and "Formation of the market for agricultural products on the basis of sustainable development of agricultural enterprises sector".
During the development of scientific topics, we came to conclusions about the need to popularize the ideas of sustainable development and research differences in the culture of production, storage, processing and consumption of food, as well as land use in Ukraine and EU countries. In order to support young scientists with information, promote the popularization of ideas of sustainable development and the integration of Ukrainian science into the European space, as well as to provide a platform for scientific discussion, the decision was made to create the Public Organization "Regional Center of European Educational Scientific Enterprises", which I head. In 2019, the Public Organization "Regional Center of European Educational Scientific Enterprises" received a grant for co-financing a scientific project from the European Commission under the Erasmus+ Jean Monnet Support to Associations program (project number: 611556-EPP-1-2019-1-UA-EPPJMO-SUPPA; implementation dates 09/01/2019-08/31/2022). The monitoring of the implementation of the project showed a change in the worldview of students, public figures, academics and scientists regarding European values, and a desire to deepen knowledge in the field of European integration. During the work on the implementation of the grant proposal, a clear awareness emerged of how important the internationalization of science is. An international internship and the organization of an international conference gave impetus to new ideas, which were implemented not only in scientific work, but also in educational activities. Thus, in 2021, a new educational course "Fundamentals of sustainable development" was developed and the idea of creating a new educational course "Sustainable development of agricultural land use as the basis of food security: study and implementation of European experience" (Erasmus+ Jean Monnet, ERASMUS-JMO-2022-MODULE, 101084428 BELUS) was born.
After the beginning of Russia's large-scale invasion of Ukraine, our attention is focused on possible directions of transformation of food systems in order to adapt them to new conditions and threats. We are trying to build a new concept of ensuring the stability of Ukraine's food systems in conditions of shocks and crises, to find mechanisms for the formation of sustainable food chains and effective economic tools for regulating the agricultural sector, applying the principles and approaches of а sustainable circular economy.
Our research is based on the assertion that the main source of food potential is the agricultural sector. Therefore, the factors that determine the development of agriculture ultimately affect food security. At the same time, we consider the category "agriculture" much more widely than is proposed in the traditional definition. It is not only an economic system of production relations, it includes the social interaction of community members who live in rural areas and are producers of agricultural products, their resource needs and environmental constraints.
We focused our research on two main areas: 1) Study of the current state of Ukraine's food potential in the context of sustainable development and 2) Implementation of the state policy of Ukraine in the field of food potential formation on the basis of sustainable development of agriculture.
The results of the study showed the following problematic issues.
"In the former Soviet Union, Ukraine among the 15 republics was the "granary" of the state: the best chernozems; high culture, deep roots and traditions of grain cultivation; hardworking nation. In the "Treatise on taxes and contributions" William Petty says that labor is the father of wealth, and land is the mother". It is difficult not to agree with the opinion of a prominent economist. So are Ukrainians really rich and fed?". The phenomenon is that no matter how much time passes, no matter how many economic reforms and political changes take place in the country, the question does not lose its relevance and still remains rhetorical.
On the one hand, Ukraine is one of the world leaders in the export of agricultural products, especially grain - the 5th place in the world according to the data of the 2021/2022 MR. At the same time, the amount of arable land per capita in Ukraine is the highest among the countries of the EU and the former Soviet Union.
On the other hand, the consumption of meat, milk, fish, fruits, berries and grapes in the country is less than the rational norms established by the Ministry of Health of Ukraine. At the same time, the share of food expenses in total population expenses significantly exceeds similar indicators in EU countries.
Why does this happen? It is especially important to find an understanding of these problems now that the country is at war. After the victory of Ukraine, new challenges facing the agro-food system will be added to the already existing ones. Currently, the Russian Federation is not only looting Ukraine by exporting manufactured products from the temporarily occupied territories, but the aggressor country is also resorting to terrorism and destroying all infrastructure facilities and logistics - currently it is not even possible to estimate the damage caused; mines the territory - "the area and volumes of mining in the territory of Ukraine increased 10 times compared to the pre-war period" and makes up 30% of the country's territory; forcibly evacuates the population from the occupied territories, which is reported by the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine almost every day, but no one knows the exact data.
The objective problem of existing imbalances in the development of the agro-food sector at the global level is the growth of the population with the destructive use of natural resources that ensure the physical existence of humanity. But in Ukraine, there has been negative population growth for over 30 years (Natural Movement, 2021), with the growth of production volumes (Agriculture of Ukraine, 2021), so this factor does not have a negative impact on the level of physical access to food products.
Many hopes were placed on administrative and land reform. Currently, the administrative reform in Ukraine has been completed - new communities have been created, which have been given all the powers to solve social and economic issues on the basis of self-government and self-financing. In such conditions, the development of property relations on agricultural land is of particular importance, since in rural areas land remains practically the only liquid source of financial resources. At the same time, at this stage, the agricultural land market in Ukraine still remains "in the shadows" and there are signs of its monopolization. Such a process will clearly have a negative impact on the sustainability of the development of the agro-food system, because agricultural land is the main means of food production.
This problem goes beyond national borders and this year it became an absolutely obvious fact, when due to the blockade of the Black Sea ports by the Russian Federation, Ukraine could not export grain to the world market - this immediately caused a global food crisis. Therefore, the unsustainable development of the agro-food system of Ukraine, the main component of which is agricultural land, can lead to catastrophic consequences both from the point of view of food security and social justice in Ukraine, and from the point of view of significant imbalances in the world food market.
The main task at this stage is to provide the country's population with food in accordance with the principles of sustainable development, which will allow for the gradual formation of a sustainable food system. How to solve this issue? It is practically impossible to increase the volume of food production in the conditions of war. In addition, given the already existing ecological burden on land resources, extensive expansion of agricultural production will do more harm than good. This fact directed our research in the direction of searching for other sources of formation of food potential - assessment of the possibilities of ensuring food security at the expense of minimizing food losses and waste.
The calculations of food losses and waste in Ukraine by regions and types of products showed the following (detailed information on this issue is presented in the scientific article). The amounts of food losses and waste differ significantly at each stage of the food value chain. The gap between the highest and lowest indicators is as follows (Figure 1): at the production stage - 14.8 (111.9 kg), at the handling and handling and storage stage - 14.7 (4.1 kg), at the processing and packaging stage - 39.2 (94.5 kg), at the stage of delivery and sale – 25.7 (71.7 kg), at the stage of consumption – 5.1 (102.1 kg).The amounts of food losses and waste are significantly differentiated depending on the type of product and region. In terms of regions, the gap between the highest and lowest indicators of food losses and waste is large: for meat - 7.5 (56.8 kg), for milk - 7.8 (56.8 kg), for grain - 58.0 (233.8 kg), for potatoes - 8.0 (254.9 kg), for vegetables - 11.0 (335.8 kg), for fruits - 7.2 (57.9 kg).
Correlation and regression analysis made it possible to determine the degree of influence of food losses and waste at each of the stages of the food value chain on the total amount of costs for each of the studied types of products. It was established that the greatest impact on the amount of food losses and waste per person occurs at the stages of production and consumption, except for potatoes and vegetables - the greatest impact on the amount of food losses in these groups is lost at the stage of delivery and sale, at the same time food losses at the stage of handling and storage have the least effect on the effective indicator – physical restriction of access to food.
The obtained results allow us to state that measures and policies to reduce food losses and waste for specific types of products should be focused on different regions and stages of the food value chain: for meat – Vinnytsia, Cherkasy, Kyiv regions, stage – consumption; for milk – Vinnytsia, Poltava, Kyiv regions, stages – production and consumption; by grain – Kirovohrad, Poltava, Sumy regions, stage – consumption; for potatoes – Vinnytsia, Zhytomyr, Kyiv regions, stage – distribution and market; for vegetables – Kherson, Mykolaiv, Kyiv regions, stage – distribution and market; by fruit – Vinnytsia, Chernivtsi, Kyiv regions, stage – consumption.
The fact that specialization in the production of a certain type of product means high losses of food and food waste at this stage is typical for all regions. Significant volumes of production, in turn, stimulate the growth of demand, and therefore – an increase in food losses and waste at the stage of consumption. Therefore, it should be understood that the strategy of increasing production volumes is not a guarantee of the stability of the food system, as politicians often emphasize.
А significant factor in the formation of a shortage of milk and meat consumption by the population of Ukraine is food losses and waste of milk and meat (detailed information on this issue is presented in the scientific article). Thus, in 12 regions of Ukraine, the deficit of milk and meat consumption by 40% or more is formed due to food losses and waste (Figure 2). And in only one region (Luhansk region), the deficit of milk and meat consumption, which was formed due to food losses and waste, is less than 20%.
Мilk losses and waste have a somewhat higher impact on the deficit of product consumption than meat losses and waste. The obtained data show that, other things being equal, an increase in food losses and waste by 1000 kcal per person leads to an increase in the specific gravity of the deficit in the consumption of both meat and milk by 0,512% and 0,633%, respectively.
Тhe share of the deficit of milk and meat consumption, which arises as a result of food losses and waste, is higher in those regions that traditionally specialize in the production of livestock products. This is due to the fact that the more products we produce, the more we lose them. In addition, infrastructure for storage (especially milk) and primary processing of milk and meat is concentrated in the same regions, which also causes additional losses at stages 2 (Handling and storage) and 3 (Processing and packaging) of the food chain.
The feasibility of developing and implementing differentiated measures to reduce the deficit of milk and meat consumption in certain regions is substantiated. In three regions of Ukraine (Vinnytsia, Kyiv and Cherkasy), food losses and waste of meat and milk exceeds the deficit of their consumption. Under such circumstances, the shortage of milk and meat consumption in these regions can be overcome even without additional measures - only by observing rational consumption norms and ensuring zero food losses. In the territories where hostilities are (were) taking place or temporarily occupied by the Russian Federation ensuring the population's consumption of a sufficient amount of milk and meat requires the implementation of special social and humanitarian food programs, the introduction of economic tools to support consumers. For the rest of the regions it is proposed to introduce economic development incentives both for the production of food and for the development of infrastructure to ensure the 2 (Handling and storage) and 3 (Processing and packaging) stages of the food chain.
The sustainability of the system is determined by the possibility of introducing technologies and policies of conducting agrarian business, as well as consumption culture, which bring the system closer to zero food losses and waste. These results are important for decision-making in the sphere of achieving the objectives of the SDG 2 and planned target indicators in Ukraine.
So, the tasks set at the beginning of the scholarship program have been completed. My research work on the Shorttime Fellowship project has been completed. At the same time, meetings and communication with colleagues at seminars, workshops, open lectures and other events organized for us by the Alfried Krupp Wissenschaftskolleg Greifswald team gave me many new ideas and impulses. Comfortable working conditions and a pleasant living atmosphere contributed to a scientifically inspiring work environment. I am extremely grateful to Dr. Christian Suhm, Dr. Ulla Bonas, Dipl.-Kffr. Guna Voss and all the staff for giving me the opportunity to spend a very productive academically and at the same time personally enriching period of my life at the Alfried Krupp Wissenschaftskolleg Greifswald.
- Kotykova, O., Babych, M., Pohorielova, O., Shkilnyak, M. (2023). Information provision, accounting and analysis of food losses and food waste: EU experience for Ukraine. Agricultural and Resource Economics, Vol. 10, No. 3, pp. 103-123. eISSN 2414-584х. https://doi.org/10.51599/are.2023.09.03.05
- Kotykova, O., Babych, M., Pohorielova, O. Quantitative assessment of the deficit in consumption of milk and meat products by the population of Ukraine as a result of food losses and waste. Agricultural and Resource Economics. eISSN 2414-584х. (forthcoming)
- Kotykova O., Babych M., Pohorielova O., Nadvynychnyy, S. Empirical analysis of food losses and waste in Ukraine. European Countryside. eISSN 1803-8417. (forthcoming)
 Kotyková, O. and Babych, M. (2021). The evaluation of agricultural land use sustainability in the post-socialist camp countries: methodological and practical aspects, AGRIS on-line Papers in Economics and Informatics, Vol. 8, No. 2, pp. 59-78. ISSN 1804-1930. https://doi.org/10.7160/aol.2021.130205
 Мain agribusiness website. TOP-10 wheat producing countries in 2021/22 MR. https://latifundist.com/rating/top-10-krayin-virobnikiv-pshenitsi-v-2021-22-mr
 Babych, M. and Kovalenko, A. (2018). Food Security Indicators in Ukraine: Current State and Trends of Development. Baltic Journal of Economic Studies, Vol 4., No 1. рр.8–15. https://doi.org/10.30525/2256-0742/2018-4-1-8-15
 Kotykova, O., Babych, M., Nadvynychnyy, S., Cherven, I. and Shevchuk, S. (2021). Assessing the Level of Household Food Security Based on Their Income Level. Intellectual Economics, No. 15 (2), pp. 175-204. eISSN 1822-8038. https://doi.org/10.13165/IE-21-15-2-09
 Public. News. Russians not only steal grain, but also threaten farmers to take the future harvest – Ministry of Agrarian Policy. https://suspilne.media/235901-rosiani-ne-lise-kradut-zerno-ale-j-pogrozuut-fermeram-zabrati-majbutnij-vrozaj-minagropolitiki/
 State Emergency Service of Ukraine. 30% of the territory of Ukraine is mined. In terms of scale, it is like two territories of the state of Austria. https://dsns.gov.ua/uk/news/ostanni-novini/30-teritoriyi-ukrayini-zaminovano-za-masstabami-ce-yak-dvi-teritoriyi-derzavi-avstriya-sergii-kruk
 Kotykova O., Babych M., Pohorielova O., Nadvynychnyy, S. Empirical analysis of food losses and waste in Ukraine. European Countryside. eISSN 1803-8417. (forthcoming)
 Kotykova, O., Babych, M., Pohorielova, O. Quantitative assessment of the deficit in consumption of milk and meat products by the population of Ukraine as a result of food losses and waste. Agricultural and Resource Economics. eISSN 2414-584х. (forthcoming)