KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukraine's grain harvest will exceed 49 million tonnes in 2009, country's Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has said.
To date, the harvest is about 48.5 million tonnes, she said at a news conference yesterday, adding, "I think that it will be slightly more than 49 million tonnes."Timoshenko associated the aforesaid achievements amid the economic crisis with the governmental funding of the agricultural sector."We created an agrarian fund, as banks had stopped crediting farmers," the Ukrainian prime minister said."In 2009, Ukraine first ever became the world's third grain exporter after the United States and the European Union, outstripping Russia and Canada," Timoshenko stressed.She also reported about the increase of the state grain reserves to 1.416 million tonnes in 2009 from 724,000 tonnes in 2008.In 2008, Ukraine's grain harvest amounted to 53.3 million tonnes and was the biggest for the years of its independence.