Feeding the world together: The story of cooperation between N-I-K from Dnipropetrovsk region and NIBULON during the war

To support the country’s economy through cost-effective and eco-friendly transportation, we invested in reviving river navigation and shipbuilding, constructing 14 river ports. With the onset of the full-scale invasion, the country’s waterways were blocked, leading 9 of NIBULON’s river ports to stop operations, while the rest were either destroyed or temporarily occupied.To ensure that NIBULON, as one of Ukraine’s largest agricultural exporters, remained in the global market and export grain, the USAID Economic Resilience Activity helped implement an alternative solution. During the war, this enabled the company to keep operating, pay employees, and contribute to global food security.One of such blocked river ports is Zelenodolska branch, which has a simultaneous storage capacity of 76,000 tons. In the village Marіanske on the border of Dnipropetrovsk and Kherson regions, before the war, farmers from the surrounding villages transported a total of about 200,000 tons of grain here annually. In addition to the fact that the branch was forced to suspend the transportation of grain by barges, after June 6, when the russian federation blew up the dam of the Kakhovka Dam, the river grain terminal found itself amidst the sands.Since the first days of the war, the employees of Zelenodolska branch were unable to transport grain by barges. They carried it by vehicles to the nearest branches. Among it was grain from N-I-K farm from Dnipropetrovsk region, one of the oldest partners of NIBULON.N-I-K is a family business founded by Mykola Poroslyi in the early 2000s. Starting with 50 hectares, the farm has grown to almost 500 hectares. Mykola rented the first hectares, which were shares of local residents. He also purchased a mill and agricultural machinery at his own expense and expanded cooperation with landowners. In addition to growing wheat, barley, sunflower, and corn, the farm processed wheat and barley into groats on a wholesale scale. In 2010, after graduating, his son Mykhailo joined himr. Around this time, cooperation with NIBULON began. Initially, N-I-K shipped rapeseed, wheat, and barley to Kozatska branch and to the transshipment terminal in Mykolaiv.”After 2010, our business experienced significant growth. We completely changed the management structure, shifted to cashless operations. We are systematically hiring employees, currently totalling 15 employees. We completely modernized our agricultural machinery, purchased mounted trailed equipment and wide-reaching equipment, changed our production technology, and began to implement sowing with liquid fertilizers. Having good harvests and stable prices for raw materials, three years before the war, we renewed our tractors, replaced the equipment, and received loans. Almost all grain was shipped to NIBULON. We tried to cooperate with other enterprises located closer to us, but they were not very honest. Thus, we decided that it is better to choose a slightly longer transportation route, but to be sure of the decency of the partner,” says Mykhailo Poroslyi.Later, with the development of river branches and the reduction of logistics, N-I-K began to bring grain to Khortytsia and Zelenodolska branches. And the final shipment took place at Zelenodolska branch on February 23, 2022.”I remember the first days of the war, the farmers’ reaction. Someone believed that it was all short-lived, while others worried they would not be able to work. We did not get confused and acted quickly. We managed to ship almost all the wheat to Zelenodolska branch. Later, we sold the sunflower. Of course, there were fears and a sense of uncertainty due to the port blockade. What will happen to exports? Should we sow? If so, what exactly?” recalls Mykhailo.NIBULON managed to continue exporting grain by rebuilding logistics routes and replacing barges with trucks and wagons. This became an alternative solution implemented through the USAID Economic Resilience Activity. The USAID project purchased 50 modern hopper wagons for NIBULON. Each of them can transport up to 70 tons of grain. Currently, NIBULON uses these wagons to take grain from the blocked river ports by rail to the Danube ports. Then the grain is transferred to barges and shipped to 25 countries worldwide.”Thanks to assistance from the USAID project, we have created an alternative route – we transport grain by rail transport from river ports to sea ports. It is very expensive to transport grain by trucks. We can load 20 tons of grain into one truck. At the same time, one wagon carries up to 70 tons. Since we received 50 wagons, we formed a train from them. If we continued to transport grain by truck, the company’s expenses would be higher, affecting the purchase price we offer to farmers, or we would have to close the terminals. Therefore, in the conditions of war and russia’s attempts to block the operation of ports, this is a significant help for us as agricultural exporters,” says Mykhailo Rizak, Director on Government Relations of NIBULON.Since August, when NIBULON received the first hopper wagons, they have already transported almost 30,000 tons of Ukrainian grain. Thus, a train of 50 wagons has traveled ten times along different routes, delivering grain from river ports to sea ports, covering a distance of 15,000 km. In this way, the company provides work for about 400 employees at river terminals, continues to contribute to the country’s economy, to help Ukrainian farmers sell grain, which is then sent to foreign buyers, and together with them to ensure global food security.With the new hopper wagons from the USAID project, NIBULON’s railcar fleet now totals 212 wagons. Therefore, the company’s railcar fleet increased by almost 25%. Next year, the company will continue to cooperate with more than 3,000 farms and plans to export from 200,000 to 300,000 tons of grain monthly, which is more than 7% of total exports.Meanwhile, the farmer continues to do his daily work and has already sown winter crops – rapeseed and wheat for the 2024 harvest. He is also interested in ensuring that NIBULON’s facilities remain operational, as he delivers his harvest to them.”We grow grain and work with many partners. We have employees who need to be paid. There are landowners, banks, as well as financial obligations. Growing and selling grain is our main income, from which we pay taxes. For farmers, it is important not only to grow grain, but also to be confident that there will be someone to buy it, ensuring it reaches the end consumer quickly,” says Mykhailo Poroslyi.From the beginning of russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine until November 15, 2023, Ukraine exported more than 90 million tons of grain and is currently among the TOP-5 global grain exporters, contributing to global food security during the full-scale war.The assistance to agricultural producers and infrastructure companies is part of the Agriculture Resilience Initiative in Ukraine implemented by the United States Agency for International Development. It is aimed at helping Ukraine increase its potential for grain production, storage, transportation, and export.

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Андрій Вадатурський


Андрій Вадатурський став генеральним директором «НІБУЛОНу» після понад 15 років роботи в компанії — в липні 2022 року.

Він прийняв цю посаду після трагічної загибелі свого батька та засновника «НІБУЛОНу» Олексія Вадатурського разом із матір’ю Раїсою Вадатурською під час російського ракетного удару по їхньому дому в Миколаєві.

З 2014 до 2019 рік був народним депутатом України від одномандатного округу в Миколаївській області та членом Комітету з питань аграрної політики. У 2017 році створив і очолив велику міжпартійну групу, яка виступала за розвиток українських річок як транспортного засобу.  

Має ступінь магістра електротехніки Українського державного морського технічного університету та ступінь магістра економіки промисловості Лондонської школи економіки. У 2009 році за вагомий внесок у розвиток агропромислового комплексу України був нагороджений Президентом України, йому присвоєно звання «Заслужений працівник сільського господарства».

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