The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has launched a new USD 40 million (Canadian Dollar 52 million) Canada-funded project to further address grain storage shortages in Ukraine.
The initiative will allow storage of an additional 2.4 million tonnes of grain between 2022-2023 along with related technical support and equipment. This complements the support of USD 17 million recently provided by the Government of Japan to cover 1 million tonnes of grain storage.
This season, with the harvest of winter crops starting in July and spring crops beginning later in the year, Ukraine is expecting to harvest up to 51.1 million tonnes of cereal. Out of a total storage capacity of 75 million tonnes, 14 percent of storage facilities are damaged or destroyed, 10 percent are located in Russian-occupied territories and around 30 percent remain filled with 22 million tonnes of last year’s harvest awaiting export – according to the Government of Ukraine.
“Given the unprecedented storage challenges this year, innovative solutions are required at scale. For this reason support to the sector will remain in high demand, likely into 2023,” said Rein Paulsen, Director of the FAO Office of Emergencies and Resilience. “FAO is responding immediately to this situation while taking a longer-term view and looking to invest in durable solutions that build on sectoral capacity, in coordination with the Government at national and local levels.”
The recently developed Grain Storage Support Strategy – an extension to the FAO Ukraine Rapid Response Plan (RRP) – aims to support the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine to cover 4.07 million tonnes, or 25 percent, of the total estimated national storage deficit of 16 million tons in 2022-23. The strategy also includes the support of the State Service of Ukraine on Food Safety and Consumer Protection to process and export agricultural products from Ukraine, by strengthening government capacity for food commodity testing and certifications necessary for export at border facilities.
The immediate impact of the strategy will be an expansion and immediate availability of storage capacity at this critical harvest time for Ukrainian producers of grain and oil seeds, while the longer-term impact will be in sustaining global food supplies. This, in turn, will strengthen food security and protect livelihoods at the household and national levels in Ukraine, and ensure other grain import-dependent countries retain access to adequate supplies of grain, at a manageable cost.
“Thanks to the funding provided by Global Affairs Canada, FAO will deliver temporary and fixed grain storage solutions including polyethylene grain sleeves, loading and unloading machinery, and longer-term modular storage units, targeting small and medium-sized farms in 15 oblasts,” said Pierre Vauthier, Head of FAO Ukraine Country Office. “In addition, FAO will procure up to USD 2 million worth of laboratory equipment to support six strategic laboratory facilities in surveillance for animal diseases in accordance with the World Organization for Animal Health’s safe trade rules.”