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4 months past the RF’s invasion: while blood is spilling in Ukraine, more deaths are about to come around the globe

Date

05 Jul 2022

Sections

InfoSociety

Throughout its history, Ukraine served as a “breadbasket” for the neighbour and more distant regions. In 1940-50s it produced over 25% of the Soviet Union’s grains. In 1991-1996, Ukrainian wheat exports rose from 0.8 to 1.8 million tonnes, and in 2013-2016 from 8 to 14 million tonnes. Over the recent years, Ukraine has become a significant player on the world agricultural markets. In 2021 it accounted for 10% of world wheat, 15% of corn and barley, and 50% of sunflower oil exports.

On February 24th, 2022, only four days after the Winter Olympics in Beijing, where 91 countries including RF and Belarus celebrated peace and human dignity, Ukraine was covered with missile attacks from the territories of RF and Belarus. More than 3 months past the RF’s invasion, dozens of Ukrainian cities, towns and villages, hundreds of cultural heritage and infrastructure objects are destroyed. RF’s soldiers maraud homes, shops and offices and terrorize civil population with murders and sexual assaults (rape) of women, teenagers and children. Ukrainian military and civilians continue defending bravely and devotedly their land, lives and values.

As no exception, agricultural producers in Ukraine strive to defend their values: feed Ukraine, feed the world and support the Ukrainian economy. Compared to February 2021, Ukraine today does not control nearly 20% of its territory[1] that translates into around 10 mio ha of total agricultural area, of which 8 mio ha are arable land (equivalent to 70% of arable land in Germany). Respectively, nearly 10 mio tonnes of wheat, 3 mio tonnes of corn, 3 mio tonnes of barley and 2 mio tonnes of sunflower oil are lost. Agricultural production under the RF army’s occupation or intense battles is, clearly, impossible. Food security in Ukraine is challenged. Severe drop in nominal wages, weak national currency and high food prices reduced the affordability of basic food commodities by 38%[2]. Although significant food shortages are not expected, undernutrition of more sensitive population groups is likely to come.

With arable land loss alone, Ukraine forgoes around 50% of its wheat and barley exports, 13% of corn exports and 37% of sunflower oil exports. Complete blockade of Black and Azov sea ports reduced the technical ability of Ukraine to export grains and oil from around 6 mio to 1.5 mio tonnes monthly. In June, Ukraine reported 27 billion USD of damages and losses in the agricultural sector[3]. Countries such as Egypt, Libya, Bangladesh and Yemen, where over 70 million people live below poverty line, where wheat constitutes nearly one third of daily calories intake and whose imports from Ukraine correspond to at least 25% of their total wheat imports, face serious challenges in securing their food supplies[4].

Created by the RF’s war tremendous shortages in production and export from Ukraine, high agricultural production input prices (such as for fuel and fertilisers) and the decade-high agri-food commodities prices place food insecure regions not onto the edge but the epicentre of famine. Unless stopped by the united effort of the civilized society, RF will keep wreaking havoc in Ukraine and threatening global food security and lives of those in need.

 


[1]Authors‘ estimations based on (i) Order of the Ministry of Reintegration of the Provisionally Occupied Territories of Ukraine N 104, Registered with the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine on May 31, 2022 under N 587/37923 About modification of the order of the Ministry concerning reintegration of the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine from April 25, 2022 N 75 (Наказ Міністерствa з питань реінтеграції тимчасово окупованих територій України Зареєстровано в Міністерстві юстиції України 31 травня 2022 р. за N 587/37923 Про внесення змін до наказу Міністерства з питань реінтеграції тимчасово окупованих територій України від 25 квітня 2022 року N 75), (ii) https://decentralization.gov.ua/areas and (iii) https://mailchi.mp/latifundistmedia/zemelyniy-dovidnyk-ukrainy-2020

[2]KSE C4FLUR Food Security and Policy Review in Ukraine, issue 1, https://kse.ua/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Food-security-and-policy-in-Uk...

[3] KSE C4FLUR The indirect war losses in Ukraine’s agriculture https://kse.ua/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Losses_report_issue1_ua.pdf and Agricultural war damages review Ukraine https://kse.ua/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Damages_report_issue1_ua-1.pdf

 

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