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The rippling effects of war on Ukrainian agriculture, according to Kyiv citizen

Russian troops, after failure of the blitzkrieg, changed tactics and moved to the policy of “the scorched land,” bombing civilians in the cities.

So far Kyiv, where I am still staying, has not been bombed. There are block-posts along important streets, near bridges and hospitals. Kyiv’s satellite cities of Vorzel, Irpin, Gostomil (about 15 to 20 miles from Kyiv) are under severe shelling. Kyivans are determined to fight like hell and not surrender.

After three or four days without sounds of shelling, today I heard several. Since there weren’t explosions nearby, this means that it was our artillery that fired.

Everyday life has changed, some for the worse and some for the better.

A week ago there were long lines at the grocery and drug stores. Now there are practically no lines and the assortment of food has improved. Today, I even managed to buy several cans of corned beef, some raw meat, a couple of pounds of cheese, and offals for my cats.

It seems funny that the longest lines may be for cigarettes.

It’s still possible to leave Kyiv by train (Authorities have organized several so-called “evacuation trains” from some cities. No tickets needed and priority is being given to moms with small children, the elderly, and disabled persons.

Affects on Agriculture

Russia launched a missile strike on the Port of Olvia, which has been under concession to Qatar since 2021. The port is located in the Mykolaiv region on the left bank of the Dnipro-Bug estuary on the northern Black Sea coast.

The village of Bilovody in the Sumy region is occupied by Russian troops. The sozzled Russians are plundering local farmers. They confiscated and slaughtered pigs. They also stole a stock of buckwheat.

Today, the Chornobayev Poultry Farm will begin slaughtering chickens. Due to the Russian aggression, it is currently not possible to keep birds. The slaughter will be carried out by the convicts of the Northern Correctional Colony. Meat and eggs will soon be provided to the civilian population.

The Ukrainian government has introduced a ban on exports of rye, oats, buckwheat, millet, sugar, and meat. Exports of wheat, corn, vegetable oils, poultry, and eggs now require a special permit from the Ministry of Economy.

In Ukraine, the 2022 sowing campaign will begin where possible, taking into account the hostilities. The Minister of the Agrarian policy of Ukraine says that the state takes on the role of the principal market operator and will buy food from farmers to provide working capital for them and to guarantee food supplies. The state will buy agricultural products in volumes for a calendar year regardless of the conditions under which sowing will take place.

The Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine has launched a questionnaire for farmers to find out their readiness and needs for spring field season, as well as to clarify how the agency can effectively help them with the state and international support. The online survey will help find out the needs of farmers to successfully start sowing.

The government has exempted from payment of land taxes and rent for communal and state-owned land in all territories where hostilities are taking place.

The war situation in Ukraine will, according to FEDIOL members, have important consequences on European supplies of sunflower seed oil, as the approximately 200.000 tonnes per month supply has stopped being shipped to European ports and member companies assess the short and longer term consequences of the devastating invasion of Ukraine by Russia.

Depending on the year, EU refineries of vegetable oils source between 35% and 45% of the sunflower oil consumed in the EU from Ukraine. Ukraine being the major exporter of sunflower seed oil, these volumes are difficult, and could be impossible, to replace on short notice, as other players on the world market face a similar shortfall in their supply.

A rapid assessment showed that the substantial reduction of sunflower oil availability will be felt rapidly. Available stocks in the EU are estimated to last between four and six weeks. Beyond that period, it is likely that lack of availability of crude sunflower seed oil and limited alternatives will lead to a shortfall of refined/bottled sunflower seed oil on the European market, and that this will be felt up to the consumer level.

Ukrainian companies operating in the combat zone can apply to the state evacuation program. The program is available to companies that produce food, medicine, hygiene products, fuel, and other essentials. They are offered to move to the western regions of Ukraine.

Editor’s Note: Iurii Mykhailov is an agricultural journalist in Ukraine. He is a contributor to Successful Farming.

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