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Black Sea region has a significant role in global food security, grain balance stability

With countries of the Middle East and North Africa now importing more than half of their wheat needs, Black Sea traders are strengthening their position on the Asian market, supplying these countries and expanding to others.

FAO agricultural trade policy economist Irina Kobuta will address the II World Grain Forum here tomorrow, with a message about the rising importance of the Black Sea Basin for global food security.

“This season, the Black Sea region has become a key player in the global grain market,” Kobuta said, “with record yields in the 2016 harvest.” The region – mainly Russia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine – currently accounts for 21 percent of world grain exports and 32 percent of wheat exports and this figure will continue to rise, she added.

According to FAO data, 92 percent of the world’s 795 million undernourished people live in Asia and Africa. By FAO’s definition, “food security” has four dimensions: availability, access, utilization, and stability. The contribution of the Black Sea region to global food security, through trade, should not be underestimated.

Kobuta will participate in tomorrow afternoon’s business forum on the “Black Sea area: role and significance for the grain trade.”

Other FAO experts at this year’s World Grain Forum include senior economist Abdolreza Abbassian and grain storage and loss expert Cephas Taruvinga, both of whom will participate in the Saturday morning conference on “The World Grain Market: long-term trends and forecasts.”

In addition, a session on “Strategic challenges for the grain complex of Russia” will have the participation of Ren Wang, FAO assistant director-general for agriculture.

18 November 2016, Sochi, Russian Federation

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