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Ukraine: cereal production expected to collapse

The director of the National Agrarian Forum is asking for preferential trading conditions with the EU

"I would like to express my respect and gratitude for the broad support shown by the countries of the European Union to Ukraine and its citizens since the beginning of the war": thus expressed Mariia Didukh , director of the Ukrainian National Agricultural Forum , greeting the audience live at the 9th Economic Conference of CIA-Italian Farmers. A speech that comes at the same time as that of the Ukrainian president Volodymir Zelensky at the EU Parliament. "Ukraine is going through the most difficult moments in its history of independence - he said continued Didukh - and the agri-food industry works in difficult conditions.Before the war, the agricultural sector accounted for 20% of the country's GDP, and in 2022 it became the basis of Ukrainian exports (53% of all exports), the guarantor of revenue in foreign currency and a tool to support the Ukrainian economy”.

The director of the Ukrainian National Agrarian Forum then recalled that “limiting exports by blockading ports and disrupting Ukrainian food supply chains is part of Russia's hybrid warfare. However, thanks to the support of world leaders and organizations, food supplies from Ukraine have been restored” thanks above all to “solidarity lanes between Ukraine and the EU and the granting of temporary trade preferences for Ukrainian products”. In this way "the volume of agri-food products delivered to the EU has tripled and the European share in external deliveries of agricultural products in 2022 has reached a record 55%". However, highlighted Mariia Didukh, "for the whole of 2022, the export of agricultural products decreased by 4.3 billion US dollars, or 15.5%".

Furthermore, “the volume of agri-food production decreased by 30%. The production of cereals decreased by 40%, that of oil plants by 22%, the production of eggs by 20%, that of milk and meat by 12%”. As for 2023, he added, “the volume of grain production in Ukraine in 2023 will be approximately 34-35 million tons, which is 37%, which is 37% less than the results of 2022 and 60% less compared to 2021 indicators. In addition, negative trends in production reduction will persist in other agricultural sectors”.

"During the war period - underlined the director of the Forum - Ukrainian farmers do not aim to compete with European producers". This is also why Didukh addressed his appeal to European farmers to consider "the possibility of supporting the extension of preferential trade terms between Ukraine and the EU until at least the end of 2024”.

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EFA News - European Food Agency