‘I see barren fields’: Ukrainian Civil Society leaders discuss wartime agriculture disruptions
Sens. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) hosted an event discussing the war in Ukraine and what it means for global food security.
WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Known as the breadbasket of Europe, Ukraine is one of the top exporters of grain in the world.
The ongoing war is expected to cut trade drastically. Some economists fear the war will disrupt the global food chain, leading to famine in parts of the East and higher domestic commodity costs.
“Ukraine basically exports to a number of countries in North Africa and the Middle East,” said USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, who told Gray DC his department is monitoring the situation. “These are developing countries. These are countries that rely a great deal on that wheat supply to be able to feed their people.”
Wheat growers in the U.S are already facing high operating costs and drought conditions. Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) says it’s unlikely the U.S will be able to fill any gap that might be created by the war.
“Even if America does everything we can to grow more wheat, it’s not going to be enough to replace what comes through the Black Sea right now,” said Marshall.
During a Wednesday press conference, Marshall and fellow GOP Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) discussed the issue with members of the Ukrainian Civil Society.
Ukrainian Military volunteer Maria Berlinska says Russia is using food as a quiet weapon, starving residents into submission and targeting farmland and agriculture infrastructure.
“We have less and less fields, and we have less and less opportunities,” said Berlinska.
During the discussion, she pleaded for additional aid in the form of weapons, sanctions, and international pressure on Russia.
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