Industrial chicken farming in Ukraine, led by the agroholding MHP, is concentrated into four main areas. In the Cherkassy region the company belonging to the oligarch Yuriy Kosyuk runs tens of different business premises, from poultry rearing facilities through slaughterhouses to meat processing plants. In the region there have been several cases of the persecution of activists; the best-known case was the beating-up of the mayor of the village of Yasnozeriya, Vasyl Tkachenko. In 2015 he was beaten up in his office by boxers from Vinnytsia. This is an eloquent consequence of the fact that he is one of the leading activists against MHP in the region and succeeded in defending the village against the construction of another poultry rearing facility.
Industrial farming is one of the most polluting and harmful industrial sectors in general. Industrial farming worldwide produces as many emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as the entire car traffic in all the countries of the world. Besides this, the close surroundings of the farms, slaughterhouses, meat processing plants, and all the other facilities suffer from dustiness, smells, water and soil pollution, and heavy traffic. The most visible and clearest examples of such negative consequences can be found in Ukraine in the regions where MHP operates.
Similarly to other regions, in Cherkassy too MHP controls every stage of the chicken meat production cycle. One of the biggest problems caused in this region by intensive poultry farming is water pollution, and there is a lack of water in general. The villagers have problems obtaining quality water for their gardens and fields; in the village of Pshenychnyky, MHP’s grain producer Urozhai co-financed a water supply project for the villagers. So far, the water provided from this project has not been drinkable. Such social projects, which do not fulfil the villagers’ visions of what was promised by the company, are typical of the regions where MHP operates.
In the manure storage close to Kozarivka, where some of the poultry rearing facilities and slaughterhouses are also located, tons of manure are stored, part of which lies freely on the ground and creates a danger of nitrate pollution.
The villages in this region that are most affected are located around the town of Chyhyryn; some positive examples are the cases of the villages of Yasnozeriya and Moschny, where the villagers endeavoured to blockade new constructions.
In July, Arnika and Ekodia organized a fact-finding mission to this region connected with a whole-day workshop in Cherkassy. We will report the results soon on our website.