Chief Economist Máximo Torero Cullen briefs Ministers at G-7 meeting in Berlin
Distributing potato starter kits in Dnipropetrovska oblast.
Berlin – On the side lines of the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) in Berlin, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Government of Germany co-organized a special meeting on Saturday for G-7 Ministers on the situation in Ukraine and planning to address the impacts of the war on the Ukrainian people, livelihoods and agricultural output.
For 2023, FAO Chief Economist, Máximo Torero Cullen, presented updates regarding FAO’s Rapid Response Plan for the country, outlining three pillars of action, which together will require $205 million in funding.
i) restoring food security and self-sufficiency for half a million rural households in frontline or otherwise heavily-impacted areas through provision of seeds, feed and cash;
ii) restoring critical production and value chains by providing diesel and gas generators, seeds for wheat, barley, oats and peas, temporary and fixed modular storage units and other needs;
iii) bolstering critical agrifood system services by supporting testing and certification for alternative grain export routes, restoring veterinary services, partnering with specialized organizations to facilitate the removal of explosive hazards from agricultural lands and conducting damage and loss assessments.
The meeting was hosted by Cem Özdemir, Germany’s Federal Minister for Food and Agriculture.
Also present were Mykola Solskyi, Minister for Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine, and Vladimir Bolea, Minister for Agriculture and Food Industry of the Republic of Moldova, which has been impacted by the conflict. Ministers and senior officials from Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Poland, Romania, the United Kingdom, and the European Union and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) also participated.
In 2022, FAO programmes included providing more than 26 000 grain sleeves able to store more than 5 million tonnes of cereals given that Ukraine’s infrastructure has been damaged , helping more than 30 000 households with vegetable seeds and seed potatoes in the early planting part of the year, while also providing more than 5 000 tonnes of winter wheat seeds to small-scale farmers.
FAO has also provided multi-purpose cash assistance to more than 2 000 vulnerable rural households, notably in Dnipropetrovska, Khersonska and Zaporizka oblasts.
“FAO’s programmes in Ukraine with the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine and local administrations in each oblast are a good illustration of our strategic approach combining humanitarian assistance and investment in medium and long-term resilience building, along the Humanitarian Development Peace nexus” Torero said in a presentation of FAO’s evolving Rapid Response Plan for the country.
One rural household over every four has reduced or stopped agricultural production due to the war, with more than one in three having done so in the contact-line districts, according to FAO. That has unleashed a food security problem for the local population of a country that has historically been a food exporting powerhouse. Ukraine’s exports of cereals declined by almost 30 percent in the 2022/2023 marketing year.