How to protect Ukrainian farmers and minimize the consequences of the global food crisis: Position of Ukraine’s govt

In the four months since the start of the full-scale war, Ukraine has managed to export only 5.2 million tons of products, while until February 24 we were exporting 5-6 million tons every month through our seaports.

Despite the invasion, our farmers carried out a spring sowing campaign and have already started harvesting winter crops. This year’s harvest may exceed 60 million tons, of which 30–40 million tons will have to be exported.

Deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine Markiyan Dmytrasevych told speaking at a panel discussion on the topic “Agriculture and global food security” within the framework of the Ukrainian-Swiss Business Hub in Lugano, Switzerland.

“Due to the destruction of the storage infrastructure and the temporary occupation, we have only about 60 million tons of storage capacity left at the disposal of granaries out of 75 million tons. By the end of October, the deficit of grain storage capacity will amount to 10-15 million tons!” he urged.

Markiyan Dmytrasevych emphasized that the impossibility of exporting from Ukraine of last year’s and this year’s harvests, the reduced sowing of winter crops will cause a further increase in prices. It will deal such a blow to global security, not just food security, that the world will feel its effects for the years to come.

During the discussion, the Deputy Minister told how the international community can help minimize these inevitable threats.

“In the shortest term, two projects are in focus for Ukrainian agrarians and farmers. The first is a project of an international fund for the purchase of agricultural products from Ukrainian farmers with further export. It is assumed that the stakeholders of the fund will be government organizations and large international companies. For Ukrainian farmers, this will allow them to obtain the necessary current capital for the sowing and harvesting seasons of the current and following years.

The second project is the construction of cross-border transshipment terminals for grain crops and vegetable oils. Their main idea is to cross the border with products through grain conveyors and oil pipelines,” he explained.

Medium-term projects are also attractive, added the Deputy Minister. For example, the development of bioenergy, because Ukraine can produce about 2 billion m3 of biomethane, so in the future it is possible to build more than 300 complexes for the processing of organic waste and silage into biomethane. As well as an increase in processing volumes by 85% – from the current level of 20.1 million tons/year to 38.8 million tons/year.

Markiyan Dmytrasevych emphasizes that unless the described is done, given the disability to sell the products, and respectively – experiencing the lack of working capital, high prices for fuel, fertilizers and logistics Ukrainian farmers will not be able to work on the new harvest.