Looming Food Crisis: Ukraine, Russia Grain Export Deal Ray Of Hope for Global Food Security  

By Elizabeth Chukwuma

Giving the growing acute   hunger ravaging  the less developed economies which is also having a spill -over effect on the developed economies, due to the five month –old war   between Russia Federation and Ukraine, that  has claimed the lives of thousands of people  and displaced millions in Ukrainians, Antonio Guterres,  the United Nations, UN, Secretary General, and  Reccep Tayyip Edogan, the Turkish President   have brokered a grain deal between the two  warring countries to save the world from food hunger.

 Dmytro Kuleba,the Ukrainian Foreign minister had made the International Community to know   that ‘’ the country’s share  of the global food market is enormous’’.  According to him, the country provides 10 of the world’ wheat, 14% of the  world’s corn, 47% of the world’s Sunflower Oil. .  He noted that  a little less than one-fifth of its grain exports goes to Western Europe, a quarter goes to Africa and Asia each,  one sixth to the Middle East and one-seventh  to the south east Asia.

Kuleba, the Ukrainian  Foreign minister, was said  to have repeatedly made African Leaders to believe that ‘’Russian’s unprovoked attack on the country on February 24, 2022, till date, has contributed’’ to the challenges in global food insecurity in the Continent’’. He asserted that for many years Ukraine has been a ‘’reliable and trustworthy  partner  of African states, in Agricultural trade’’ .

 Reeling out figures to confirm his claims, he had said that Libya alone, imports 44% of its wheat consumption from Ukraine, Tunisia, 42%, Egypt and Ethiopia 26% each,  while Morocco imports 15% of  its wheat consumption from the country.

 He may have exonerated Ukraine   from withholding   the export of its Agricultural products to the global market, blaming it on Russia blockade  of  the country’s ports This may have informed why he had said that’’ the country need to make money on the global market by selling our Agricultural products  and supplying  them  to the consuming nations’’.   Note that the Financial losses to Ukraine grain exporters is estimated at $200 million in a day in March through May, 2022, alone. This is because the country’s grain exports had dropped to one-sixth of its pre-war level.

Shigy: Russia Minister Of Defense

 In signing the grain deal to reopen  the blocked Black sea grain routes, Sergei  Shoigy,  Russian minister of Defence  was said to have  signed the Agreement on behalf of the country   while  Oleksandr Kubrakov,  Ukrainian minister of Infrastructure   signed  for his country.  The duo may not have been brought to a round  table discussion to sign the grain deal but  were said to have  signed  separate  but  identical agreements  with the UN and  the Turkish government on the ‘’reopening  the blocked black Sea grain delivery routes’’.

Going by the Agreement, which  aims ‘’to avert   famine  by injecting more wheat   , sunflower oil , fertilizer and other products  into the world food markets, and also   meeting the world  Humanitarian needs. The two warring countries, particular, Ukraine was said to have targeted its pre-war level of five million metric ton of grain export monthly into the global food market.

Kuleba: Ukrainian Minister Of Infrastructure

 Recall that Agricultural experts have long warned of a looming global food crisis‘’if Ukrainian grain exports remain blocked by Russian military in the Black Sea’’. They noted that for the country to start the shipment of its grain to the global   markets it needs to empty its silos first, ahead of the coming harvests. Indeed, with the two parties signing the grain deal to save the lives of  over 47  million  people , the world-over   now  at the state of ‘’acute hunger’’  due to the  fallout from the war, there are indications  that  the first shipment   of the backlog  of millions of tonnes  of the Ukranian grain  would be  a test of  implementation of the deal in the coming weeks  to the global food markets.

An elated Guteres, the UN, Secretary General, had said that the deal  would open the doorway  to commercial  food exports from  the Ukrainian ports  of OOdesa, Chernomorsk and Yuzhnny to the global food markets. 

  Perhaps to ensure that ships that may be  carrying the grain cargoes are not attacked on the Black Sea, may have informed why the deal  included a ‘’a defacto ceasefire’’ for the ships  and facilities covered’’. Giving an insider information on how the grain deal will be implemented, Guterres, the UN, Secretary General had said that  ‘’there will be a Joint  Control Center , JCCC, in Istabul, Capital of Turkey, which will schedule  and mnitor the shipments.  He disclosed that the JCC, will be staffed by of the World body and military personnel from the two warring countries to avoid exposing the ocean-going vessels to danger.

, Guterres: UN, Secretary General

Until the two warring countries agreed on the rain deal, Ukraine has mined the  waters near  the ports  as part of its defences. The UN, Secretay General, had told the International Community that they have no reason to fear about the safe Navigation of the ships  because Ukrainian Pilots  will guide  the ships  along safe channels  in its waters  , with a mine- sweeper vessel   on hand  as needed, but no military escorts to avoid drawing the attention of the Russian military  to attack he ships.

According to Guterres, the ships on transit  from the Black sea  to  the Turkish port of  Bosphrous Strait and off  to global food markets,  will be monitored  by the JCC personnel. The two countries were said  to have agreed that  that ‘’there will be  no attacks  on these  ships’’  The  good news was that that , ‘’if a prohibited  activity is observed , it will be the responsibility of the JCC personnel to resolve it instead of allowing it  to escalate to a crisis situation.

Shoigu, Russia minister of Defence, may have spoken the mind of Putin, when he said that   that he Kremlin will not take advantage of  the fact that the ports  will be demined  and reopened  or business to attack ocean-going vessels approaching the ports but Kuleba, Ukraine  Foreign Affairs minister fears that Russian Federation military  may keep to the grain deal. Hear him: Kyiv trusts the UN, not Russian to keep to the grain deal.

He is right. Barely 24 hours after the signing of the grain deal, Russian missiles had hit  Ukraine’s Odesa port, one of the ports earmarked will be used for the shipment of grain to Turkey port of Bosphorous Strait for onward shipment to the global food market.

In spite of the  reported attacks  on the Odesa  seaport,  Guterres, the UN, Secretary  General,   who unequivocally had condemned it had  said that the Ukrainian government has  no reason to fear of future attacks  as ‘’there is a beacon of hope of the five month-old war coming to an end  after the unprecedented agreement  was finalized’’. He was said to have said that ‘’the grain deal is a big relief to the world because the people needs it more than ever to avoid   a food shortage catastrophe for millions worldwide’’.

Informed  sources told The  Value News that  the grain  deal  between the two warring countries  is valid for four months  and will  be automatically  renewed  unless  the war ends which may not be likely for now as Russian is still  launching  missiles at the  on Donetsk region of Ukraine.

President Edogan Of Turkey

Reacting to the rain deal, between Russia and Ukraine, Recep Tyyip Edogan, the Turkish President had  said that the signing of the grain Agreement was  a sign ‘’ there is a renewed  hopes  for peace  between the two warring countries’’. He noted that  that ‘’with  the ship traffic  that will start  in  the coming days,  , Turkey,  will open   a new  breathing  tube   from the Black sea to many countries  of the world’’.

The European Union, EU, much were said to have been hit by the war, had said that it is still committed in helping Ukraine bring as much as its grain into the global food markets as soon as possible’’.  The EU, noted that ‘’the Agreement  signed  by Ukraine , Russia, Turkey and the UN,  are a critical  intervention step  in overcoming  the looming global  food  insecurity cause by Russian of Ukraine’’.

The US, which had championed the  various  economic sanctions and arming Ukraine military to sustain the war against Russia may have known that world is heading towards looming food crisis   that Joe Biden, the country’s President  has called on Putin, his Russian Counterpart,  ‘’to allow  the Ukrainian  grain to be exported  quickly’’  as he hopes that the Turkish –brokered  deal is well-structure  enough ‘’ to monitor compliance by the two parties’’.   John Kirby the White House spokesperson, who may have spoken the mind of Biden,   had said that ‘’the US, President expects   the quick implementation of the grain deal’’.

 The Leadership of the African Union, AU, are happy that that the  two countries  involved in the conflict  have finally  signed a grain deal that  would facilitate the exports of  Ukraine wheat , Corn, sunflower oil and  millions of tonnes  of  other Agricultural products  grown in the country  through the Black Sea  into the global food markets  that would save  the vulnerable nations, particular, poor African countries.

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