Favorable weather conditions should improve Ukraine\'s grain and other harvests this year, further boosting the country\'s ranking as a food exporter. Total grain output is estimated to reach 53 million tons, according to Tetyana Adamenko, head of the agricultural department at Ukraine\'s state weather forecast center. Adamenko said Ukraine was expected to reap around 20 million tons of wheat, 24.2 million tons of corn, 7.5 million tons of barley and 700,000 tons of rye this year. Agrarian Confederation president Leonid Kozachenko said the former Soviet nation produced 46.2 million tons of grain in 2012 and ranked among the top-five grain exporters. He said the country had huge potential in agriculture and food exports, given its vast fertile land, favorable climate, relatively low cost of labor and rising global food prices. \"Ukraine is able to feed up to 600 million people. About 20 percent of the farm commodities will be consumed within the country, while 80 percent could be exported,\" Kozachenko said. Vladimir Klymenko, head of the Ukrainian Grain Association, said the country would supply some 28 million tons of cereals to the global market in 2013, slightly higher than the official forecast of 27 million tons. He said Ukraine had potential to become the world\'s ninth largest wheat exporter and the fourth largest barley supplier this year. The East European country also had bright prospects in soybean, rapeseed and sunflower seed exports, he said. Besides grains, Ukraine also has high hopes for produce such as fresh fruit and vegetables. It exported 1.5 million tons out of total production of 10 million tons of fruit and vegetables and aims to triple its horticulture goods output within the next five years. Despite the positive outlook, Ukraine\'s agriculture sector faces long-term difficulties, such as dilapidated infrastructure. Official figures show about 70 percent of the country\'s basic farm machinery needs replacing. According to Ukraine\'s First Deputy Prime Minister Serey Arbuzove, the country is seeking to attract 3 billion U.S. dollars in foreign investment this year to boost the agriculture sector, on top of the 800 million received last year. Kozachenko said Ukraine needed about 70 billion dollars of investment through the next 15 years to double its grain output and to boost total agriculture production. Local analysts and officials generally paint a rosy picture for the development of Ukraine\'s agriculture sector, but they have also stressed the final outcome will undoubtedly depend on the amount of investment Kiev manages to attract to this sector.