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About 40 mine action companies may appear in Ukraine to clear agricultural land – EBA

KYIV. April 3 (Interfax-Ukraine) – It is possible to solve the problem of the speedy demining of 174,000 square km of potentially dangerous agricultural land due to an increase in the number of operators and specialists in the mine action market, potentially in Ukraine there may be about 40 of them, the European Business Association (EBA) said in a press release.

Commenting on the results of a meeting organized by the association with representatives of the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Agrarian Policy, the Ministry of Defense, Ukroboronprom and business on Monday, the EBA indicated that in Ukraine only two bodies provide the relevant certification – the Ministry of Defense and the State Emergencies Service, and only three centers train sappers.

According to the association, the creation of a mine action operator requires at least six months: four months (400 hours) for training deminers and 2-3 months for certifying a company. The approximate cost of equipment for one group of sappers of ten people is $100,000-150,000.

The EBA release states that special services inspect about 70 hectares of land every day, government units are involved in the work, including the State Emergencies Service, the National Guard, and the National Police. Some 144 groups of non-governmental organizations with a total number of about 600 specialists are involved in humanitarian demining, working in all territories, except for the combat zone and territories adjacent to the line of confrontation.

According to the World Bank, priority demining of agricultural lands will cost about $1.5 billion. The estimated cost of a non-technical survey of one hectare may be UAH 5,000-7,000. In conditions of high demand and insufficient number of specialists, the cost of demining a hectare can exceed the value of the land itself.

The participants in the meeting will send recommendations to the interdepartmental demining group for discussion with all involved stakeholders, the report says.