European Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski will hold an additional meeting with the AGRI Agriculture Commission on Thursday (March 17) on the food situation due to the Russian war in Ukraine. That subject has been added to the agenda of the previously scheduled regular committee meeting in Brussels.
MEPs will hear from Commissioner Wojciechowski how the situation in agricultural markets has developed after Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The discussion is in preparation for a plenary debate scheduled for next week. In it, the EU politicians will debate with the EU Council and the Commission on a EU action plan for food security.
Next Monday, the first contours of such a EU agri-action plan will also be discussed with the LNV ministers of the 27 EU countries. Two weeks ago it appeared that there are EU countries that believe that all restrictions on food production should be lifted. Earlier, the EU already put together an action plan to get rid of the Russian Gazprom more quickly.
The war in Ukraine is expected to have a significant impact on European agricultural markets due to prolonged import restrictions. Russia and Ukraine together account for more than 30% of world wheat trade, 32% for barley, 17% for maize and more than 50% for sunflower oil, seeds and flour.
More than 2.7 million Ukrainians have fled the war in the past three weeks and are seeking shelter in other countries. But Ukrainian peasants cannot leave their land; they continue to produce food.
Many conventional logistics chains have been disrupted by the war. For the past two weeks, Ukrainian farms have been supplying food products to people in wartime and sharing their diesel fuel with the military, it was reported in Kiev.
This year, the sowing of the fields is expected to start a little later, given the long winter. It should start in the southern regions in about a week. For the rest of Ukraine after April 10. But not all regions will allow farmers to simply go out into the fields.
The 2022 sowing campaign will be the most difficult in the history of independent Ukraine, according to the Ukrainian Ministry of Agriculture. According to Taras Vysotsky, Deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy of Ukraine, “Ukraine produces five times more than its own domestic consumption. At the moment we have sufficient reserves of products for our consumption, he said.
To ensure national food security, the Ukrainian government also banned or restricted the export of food-critical goods during martial law. This is about wheat, buckwheat, meat, eggs, oil and sugar. Ukraine also banned the export of mineral fertilizers.