Volodymyr Onatskyi runs a small company selling manure and seeds to farmers in eastern Ukraine. He is increasingly worried about the pace with which big conglomerates are buying up fertile land in the country, depleting soils and polluting fresh water sources by their massive use of chemicals.
Villagers also believe the big farms are illegally planting genetically modified (GM) soya. “The big companies plant them anyway, and in the process contaminate the fields of conventional farmers. That’s what people around here suspect, at least. Because finding out what’s really going on is often very difficult in a country like Ukraine,” Onatskyi said.