For centuries, Ukraine has been known as “the breadbasket of Europe.” This title is entirely accurate, given that Ukraine is home to around a quarter of the world’s super-fertile “chernozem” or “black soil.”
Ukraine is one of the largest countries in Europe. It shares borders with Belarus, Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia and Slovakia. The total area of the country encompasses some 603,700 thousand square kilometers.
Agricultural land accounts for nearly 70 percent of the total area in Ukraine. With 41.5 million hectares of agricultural land covering 70 % of the country and about 25 % of the world’s reserves of black soil, agriculture is Ukraine’s largest export industry.
The average land endowment in Ukraine is 0.80 hectare (ha) of agricultural land or 0.64 ha of arable land per person. This figure however, shows a considerable variability over regions and also over time, reflecting differences in population density and migration patterns.
Production is primarily divided between two groups - agricultural enterprises and households. The former produces 55 % of gross output and consists of 45,000 enterprises. The second group consists of more than 4 million households cultivating on average 1.23 hectares of land each, generating nearly 45 % of gross agricultural output.
Agriculture is one of the most important providers of jobs and income-earning opportunities for rural inhabitants. Out of all working people in Ukraine, every sixth person works in the field that combines agriculture, forestry and fisheries. This translates to just under three million people.