Yukon Weekly

Russia is aiming on Ukraine’s food supply and infrastructure

Key Takeaways:

  • According to Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau, Russian forces are reportedly targeting Ukrainian food supplies, including grain storage.
  • Ukraine’s agriculture minister told the G7 meeting that harvesting this year’s crops will be difficult for the country’s farmers.
  • Following a rise in wheat prices in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion, the minister warned that bread and pasta prices would also rise.

According to Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau, Russian forces are targeting Ukrainian food supplies, including grain storage.

Bibeau, who attended the emergency meeting of G7 agriculture ministers on Friday, stated Ukraine’s agriculture minister informed them that Russian forces are attacking grain silos ports, as well as the infrastructure required to gather and also distribute the harvest and also food storage facilities.

Bibeau said in an interview after the G7 meeting that Russia’s attempt to disrupt Ukraine’s food supply was “shocking” as well as a sign that Russian targets aren’t just military, as President Vladimir Putin claims.

“What worried me the most was the fact that Russia is primarily targeting agricultural infrastructure, including silos, grain elevators, and the port itself,” she said.

According to Bibeau, this is having a “direct impact on their capacity to produce food for their population — to feed their population,” according to Bibeau.

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Ukraine’s agriculture minister stated to the G7 meeting that the country’s farmers face significant challenges harvesting this year’s crops, she said.

Not only are farmers and farm workers fighting the Russians, but the Ukrainian military has also taken control of fuel supplies for farm machinery like combine harvesters.

“All of the diesel they had in storage for farms has gone to military vehicles,” she explained. “They’re out of diesel,” says the narrator.

She claimed that Canada, a major donor, sent food aid to Ukraine through the World Food Program.

“It’s extremely difficult — critical — and we’re trying to figure out how we can help as friends, how we can help through the World Food Program.”

However, she did warn that due to a poor harvest in Canada and the United States last year due to drought, grain stocks were lower than usual.

Bibeau also mentioned that Canadian farmers might face fertilizer shortages this year, which they usually get from Russia.

She stated that this could impact this year’s harvest, although Canadian farmers attempted to find alternatives.

Following a rise in wheat prices following Russia’s invasion, the minister warned that consumers should expect a price increase in bread and pasta. Another important Ukrainian export, vegetable oil, could be in short supply.

Russia is aiming for Ukraine's food supply and infrastructure.
Russia is aiming for Ukraine’s food supply and infrastructure. Image from Red Cross

Ukraine is one of the world’s leading exporters of wheat and sunflower oil, and many developing countries, such as Lebanon and Bangladesh, rely on its wheat for staple foods such as bread.

Shipping companies have also refused to transport Russian grain on principle since the country invaded Ukraine and because their insurance premiums have risen dramatically since the conflict began, according to Arif Husain, the World Food Program’s chief economist.

According to Julie Marshall, a Canadian spokeswoman for the World Food Program, World food prices are at an all-time rise, and the Ukraine crisis is wreaking havoc on “hunger hot spots.”

“The Ukraine conflict’s consequences have a global impact, triggering a wave of collateral hunger that is spreading around the world,” she said.

“Because it imports large amounts of food, the Middle East and North Africa are particularly vulnerable to rising food prices.” Ukraine provides more than half of Lebanon’s wheat imports. Yemen accounts for 22% of the total. Tunisia has a rate of 42%.”

“The war’s dramatic rise in food, fertilizer, as well as fuel prices around the world is a stark reminder of how rapidly food security outlooks can change,” says Sophia Murphy, executive director of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, a non-profit organization dedicated to sustainable agriculture.

Source: Global News

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