Putin’s expansion of his assault against Ukraine is hampering agricultural production.
Meanwhile, a UN official cautioned the grain which has already been gathered cannot be shipped, alleging that massive amounts of grain are “sitting there” in the nation.
Tighten Your Belt
According to Martin Frick, region head of the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization located in Germany, quite as many as 4.5 million metric tons of grain are waiting at Ukrainian harbors, due to be transported.
“None of the wheat can be used right now,” UN official Frick stated, according to The Guardian. “It’s just sat there. These food commodities from Ukraine are desperately needed around the world.”
However, a human gateway for Ukrainian refugees fleeing war-torn areas and for humanitarian supplies to enter is regularly mentioned.
Frick believes that a humanitarian channel for Ukraine’s massive agricultural output to reach the rest of the planet should also be established.
So far this year, around 20 million metric tons of food have been prevented from leaving Ukraine, according to Frick.
In comparison, according to the Guardian study, Ukraine harvested 55 million tons of wheat and corn in 2020.
Russian forces now reportedly attempting to storm Azovstal in Mariupol with ground forces. Putin, remember, publicly declared that Russian units would not do this and blockade the facility instead. https://t.co/BW7WNksbOt
— Nolan Peterson (@nolanwpeterson) May 3, 2022
Grain transportation from Ukraine via the traditional way — by bulk carrier ship from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports — has been made impractical, due to Russia’s increased hostilities this year.
Because of its mass, replacing ships with land transportation is impracticable, as a single ship can equal hundreds of thousands of vehicles.
Ukraine is a key global producer of various food and agricultural items.
The interruption of its exports, combined with boycotts of Russia’s own output, prompted strong predictions of a global food catastrophe as available inventories diminish in the following months.
Russia is Doing This on Purpose
One of Russia’s first measures in intensifying its operations against Ukraine this year was to cut off the country’s naval channels of communication.
Several cargo ships, particularly bulk carriers used to convey wheat and grains to the rest of the globe, have been lost or crippled in the Black Sea this year.
There are accusations of bombs, rockets, and even depth charges being used to sink civilian cargo ships.
⚡️UN: Russian blockade prevents export of 4.5 million tons of Ukrainian wheat.
As a result of Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian ports, sea routes cannot be accessed to export Ukrainian grains.
— The Kyiv Independent (@KyivIndependent) May 2, 2022
The fact that food can leave Ukraine, according to Frick, is compounding a “world famine crisis” that has already been exacerbated by years of coronavirus quarantines.
“This food is critical for supplying the people, particularly in Africa and the Middle East,” he explained.
In a social media post, Frick referenced his boss, the World Food Programme’s worldwide chief, who stated of the food held in Ukraine:
“We have to free up these ports. We must open them up and secure them so that food can flow freely in and out of the nation for the rest of the globe.”
“It’s a humanitarian requirement, and the rest of the world expects us to keep those ports open. We’ve got to!”