Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caused nearly $4.3 billion in damage to Ukraine’s agricultural sector, a new study from the Kyiv School of Economics Agrocenter found, as the world continues to face a global food crisis aggravated by the war.
The war has destroyed $2.1 billion worth of farmland and unharvested winter crops and $926 million of machinery, the researchers found.
Other damages include $136 million to livestock and $272 million to storage facilities.
The report comes after the United Nations warned the war could lead to famine because of a Russian naval blockade in the Black Sea that has prevented the exportation of millions of tons of Ukrainian grain.
Russia’s invasion has affected Ukraine’s ability to export agricultural products to “feed 400 million people a year around the globe,” said Roman Neyter, a researcher at Kyiv School of Economic Institute’s Center for Food and Land Use Research, who added that without “restoration of lost assets” Ukraine will struggle to reclaim its role as a global food supplier.
Ukraine’s economy is projected to shrink 45% because of damage from the war, while millions of people worldwide face food shortages, researchers said.
2.4 million hectares. That’s how many winter crops could go unharvested because of the war, worth roughly $1.4 billion.
Ukraine plays an outsized role in supplying the world with several agricultural products: The country is the world’s fifth-largest exporter of wheat, fourth-largest exporter of corn and top exporter of sunflower oil and meal, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data. Ukraine suspended port activity at the beginning of the war due to Russian Blockades, with about 20 million tons of harvested grain stuck in the country, according to the UN. Ukraine estimated in May grain exports were down 64% compared to the same time last year. U.S. and United Kingdom officials last week also backedreports Russia has stolen Ukrainian grain to send it around the world for its own profit. Russia has denied the reports, though satellite imagery from Maxar Technologies appears to show Russian ships bringing stolen grain aboard. The Kyiv School of Economics estimated last month Russia’s invasion has cost Ukraine up to $600 billion in total, with $92 billion of damage to its infrastructure.
President Joe Biden in a speech to the AFL-CIO on Tuesday said he was “working closely” with European allies to move 20 million tons of grain locked in Ukraine to help bring down food prices. Biden said the grain can’t be moved through the Black Sea because it would get “blown out of the water,” so allies are working to develop a plan to export the grain by rail. U.S. and European partners are working with Ukraine to build temporary silos on Poland’s border to move the grain out of the country and around the world.
Source - https://www.forbes.com