A new program worth $100 million is being launched to support farmers in Ukraine, by providing them with critical supplies to combat the international food security crisis and preserve future harvests which have been heavily targeted by the Russian forces during Putin’s ongoing invasion.
Numerous farms in Ukraine have turned into battlegrounds due to ongoing fighting, with many farmers being unable to preserve their harvests, or acquire necessary supplies and key machinery, including seeds, fertilizers, and storage bins, which usually would arrive via the Port of Black Sea.
Ukraine has boasted being the world’s fourth biggest corn exporter as well as the fifth biggest exporter of wheat. However, the nation has not been able to continue exporting their agricultural commodities due to Russia’s blocking of Ukrainian ports and shelling of agricultural land.
The initiative is highly critical as it would involve providing financial funds for those farmers who witness ever rising prices during a period where their incomes have severely diminished.
Over 8000 farmers in Ukraine are working with the United States Agency for International Development, who acquire the necessary equipment to supplement their yields — and this effort will be increased with the help of the new Ukraine Agriculture Resilience initiative.
In a press release on Tuesday, the USAID stated “”AGRI-Ukraine will target Ukraine’s immediate agricultural export challenges, while also simultaneously supporting the wider needs of Ukraine’s agriculture sector and bolstering Ukraine’s continued production of agricultural commodities through 2023.
The Initiative will increase Ukrainian farmers’ access to critical agricultural inputs including seeds, fertilizer, equipment, and pesticides, enhance Ukrainian infrastructure capacity and capability to efficiently export agricultural goods, increase farmers’ access to financing and expand the capacity of Ukrainian businesses to dry and temporarily store, and process agricultural commodities.”
In a video, USAID Administrator Samantha Power expressed that the fundamental aim is to “help get farmers back on their feet and get the agriculture economy moving again.” She said the hope is to get Ukrainians to the point where they have the ability, once again, to export their products.
She was joined by Mykola Solsky, the Ukrainian Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food who said that the major effort which is now being established has been in the works for months.
Due to the issues caused by ever increasing prices of transportation, labor and other necessities, the USAID will make a collaborative effort with credit unions, banks, and governments to acquire the farmers in Ukraine `sustained finance to continue operations, ” according to another representative at the USAID.
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