The breadbasket of the world is at war and
we are in the early stages of a food crisis that is likely to affect every country and every person in the world in some wayexplains Inbal Becker-Reshef, director of the US Space Agency’s Crops Program.
According to satellite images taken on 13 June by the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-2 mission and analyzed by the Programme, 22% of Ukraine’s agricultural land is under Russian control in the east and south of country.
This includes 28% of winter crops (wheat, barley, rye) and 18% of summer crops (corn and sunflower seeds), NASA says in its note.
Before the start of the Russian offensive on February 24, Ukraine supplied 46% of the world’s sunflower oil harvest, 9% of wheat exports, 17% of barley and 12% of corn, according to ministry data. American Agriculture.
The period between July and October is particularly important for Ukrainian farmers, who harvest winter cereals and those planted in the spring. Winter cereals to be harvested next year must also be planted before November.
But farmers are distraught over soaring fuel and fertilizer prices, and the threat of bombings on their fields.
According to estimates by the main association of producers and exporters in Ukraine, harvests are expected to fall by 40% for wheat and 30% for corn.
Ukraine is also subject to a Russian naval blockade and cannot export its crops by boat, observes Sergueï Skakoune, a researcher at NASA and the University of Maryland.
The closure of the Sea of Azov and the blockade of Ukrainian Black Sea ports have deprived the markets of more than 25 million tons of seeds (all products combined), fueling soaring prices and the threat of famine for millions of people in the world.