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World has no alternative to Ukrainian agricultural products – Deputy Minister Vysotsky
KYIV. May 6 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Countries importing agricultural products, primarily the Middle East and Africa, will not be able to do without export supplies of Ukrainian agricultural products, since it is physically impossible to replace its volumes with supplies from the aggressor country of the Russian Federation or from any other, this was stated by First Deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food Taras Vysotsky on the air of Ukraine 24 TV channel on Friday.
"We supplied 10% of world wheat exports, more than 15-20% of barley, more than 50% of sunflower oil. On average, 50 million tonnes of agricultural products were exported from Ukraine. In record years, this figure even reached 65 million tonnes. Today there is no way to find an alternative to such volumes and replace our products. It is physically impossible to do this even in the next three to five years," the deputy minister emphasized.
According to him, the blockade by Russian warships of key Ukrainian seaports in Odesa and Mykolaiv and the mined areas of the Black Sea led to a drop in exports of agricultural products from Ukraine to 15-20% of pre-war figures. Also, this has already led to its significant rise in price and its physical shortage around the world, especially in the countries of the Middle East and North Africa.
"If the situation with the war and the blocking of ports continues, for example, up to six months, the countries of these regions will, in principle, have no grain. And this means famine," Vysotsky stated.
According to him, the Ukrainian government is working to expand the physical export of agricultural products through alternative logistics routes, which allowed it to quadruple its exports in April compared to March 2022.
"This is still not enough, but there is significant progress. And we see in May that there is still an opportunity to increase export performance. Therefore, there are two strategies here: first of all, our victory and unblocking the ports, and the second is the expansion of these alternative ways of marketing products," he said.