Roman Leșcenko: Romania, through the port of Constanța, is a

Roman Leșcenko: Romania, through the port of Constanța, is a

Ukraine, Russia and Belarus currently account for a third of global wheat and maize production. If 30 percent of the wheat is lost, revolutions will start in many countries, because the people of the Middle East and Africa will run out of bread. It’s a huge problem.

In addition, Ukraine is also the world’s largest producer of sunflower oil, so the impact of the war on Ukraine has repercussions on global food security, warns Ukrainian Agriculture Minister Roman Lechchenko in an interview exclusively – granted from catacombs – for the show “Agro Jurnal” from Digi24.

In this context, the Minister also spoke about the importance of the port of Constanța for Ukrainian goods, thus;

Roman Lechchenko, Minister of Agriculture of Ukraine: It is a great tragedy for Ukraine. Ukrainian agriculture accounts for 50 percent of the country’s income, 20 percent of per capita income. Millions of Ukrainians in small villages have no jobs or money and are afraid for their lives. Many farmers have been killed, many farmers are frozen, equipment and infrastructure are destroyed, southern ports, all ports, are blocked, there is no possibility to export anything. In chicken and beef farms the activity is stopped.

It is about ensuring the survival of the Ukrainians. We have stocks of wheat for a year and a half, for corn and oil we have stocks for two years. We do not realize how we are doing with the spring campaign in agriculture due to the war and when we will have the opportunity to start work.

Andreea Stroe, director of “Agro Jurnal”: But do you have farmers preparing for spring sowing?

Roman Lechchenko: Yes, first of all, farmers will start the agricultural campaign in the central part of Ukraine, because it is the territory that has not been hit by Russian missiles and bombs so far, so we have the opportunity to start the works. In the south, in the areas that have not been occupied, the women farmers have already started the campaign and you should know that in the areas that are not bombed, I, as a minister, together with my team, are working out things to start the agricultural campaign, because we are convinced that we will soon proclaim sovereignty over our territory. We hope that in a few weeks this war will end.

Andreea Stroe: How much area do you think you will be farming this year?

Roman Lechchenko: We now have 70 percent.

Andreea Stroe: Maybe farmers will need money to cover their expenses and will need to export grain at some point. Have you ever wondered how this could be done? Through the port of Constanța or by rail?

Roman Lechchenko: We already operate different routes using those from Moldova, Romania, Poland, Slovakia by rail. We are also developing a terminal, and Romania is a strategic partner in this regard by using the largest port, Constanța, by using their infrastructure, and through Cernavoda we will export our products in the near future. All, of course, with our partner, Romania.

Andreea Stroe: Are the factories that produce fertilizers, because you have a few in Ukraine, functional?

Roman Lechchenko: Yes, they are functional. I also produce for export. We also feed the farms with fertilizers at a preferential price. We have over 80 percent of what we need, so it’s a good thing.

Andreea Stroe: Do you have endangered agricultural genetic material (ie gene bank) now?

Roman Lechchenko: Part of it is in danger, but we are trying to get it out of Kyiv and transport it to other parts of Ukraine in confidential conditions, because it is a very dangerous situation.

We will have a huge food crisis in a few months, which will lead to a global economic crisis. 30 percent of wheat and corn, 80 percent of sunflower oil, 25 percent of fertilizers on a global scale come from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. It’s crazy. Without fertilizers, we have no productivity to feed the world.

If 30 percent of the wheat is lost, we must understand that in many countries there will be revolutions, wars, because the people of the Middle East, Africa are running out of bread. It’s a huge problem. We are not talking about 3 percent, we are talking about a third of the amount on a global scale!