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Ukraine has lost “a quarter of its arable land” according to the Ministry of Agriculture

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The Ukrainian Ministry of Agriculture said on Monday that the country had lost “a quarter of its cultivable land” since the start of the Russian invasion on February 24. A situation that should not prevent the country from feeding its population, which has reduced its consumption in recent months.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has serious consequences for the country’s agricultural situation. kyiv has lost a quarter of its cultivable land due to the Russian occupation of certain regions in the south and east, its Ministry of Agriculture announced on Monday, but this does not constitute “a threat to security. food” of the country.

“Despite the loss of 25% of cultivable land, the structure of the crops sown this year is more than sufficient to ensure consumption” of the Ukrainian population, Deputy Agriculture Minister Taras Vysotskii told a conference Press. According to him, “consumption has also decreased due to massive displacements (of population) and external migrations”, out of the country.

Anticipation of Kyiv

More than seven million Ukrainians are internally displaced, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Added to this are 7.3 million who have fled abroad, more than half of them to Poland.

“Ukrainian farmers managed to prepare relatively well for sowing before the start of the war,” he added. “In February, Ukraine had already imported about 70% of the necessary fertilizers, 60% of the phytosanitary products and about a third of the amount of fuel required” for sowing, he detailed. The Russian occupation of several Ukrainian regions and the grain blockade imposed by the Russian Black Sea Fleet, however, forced Ukrainian farmers “to modify what they sowed and the quantity”, finally specified Taras Vysotskiï.

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The export of cereals, still at a standstill

If the consequences of the Russian invasion for the Ukrainian internal market seem limited for the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, the impossibility of exporting the cereals produced abroad raises fears of “a hurricane of famines” in the months to come according to the UN. “Currently, between 20 and 25 million tonnes of grain are blocked and this autumn this figure could increase to 70-75 million tonnes,” warned Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on June 6, whose country was the world’s fourth largest exporter of grain. wheat and corn before the Russian invasion.

The Russian-Ukrainian conflict opposes two grain superpowers – Russia and Ukraine together account for 30% of world wheat exports. It caused a spike in the prices of cereals and oils, the prices of which exceeded those reached during the Arab springs of 2011 and the “hunger riots” of 2008.

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