1. Agriculture World

America Announces $100mn Initiative for Ukrainian Farmers to Strengthen Agricultural Exports

According to the US State Department, Washington has remained Ukraine's largest supplier of aid and assistance since the conflict began on February 24. The agricultural assistance comes at a time when Russian missile strikes have completely destroyed harvest and crop fields, causing Ukrainian farmers to lose their source of income and markets to suffocate.

Shivam Dwivedi
Joe Biden, USA President
Joe Biden, USA President

The United States announced a $100 million comprehensive support program for farmers affected by Russia's brutal war in Ukraine. The funding will be disbursed by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to Ukraine in order to maintain future harvests and mitigate looming threats to global food security that have escalated during the exasperating 145-day running-war. The assistance is expected to boost Ukrainian agricultural exports, according to a statement from USAID.

"It will improve Ukrainian farmers' access to critical agricultural inputs such as seeds, fertilizers, equipment, and pesticides," according to a USAID statement.

"It will improve Ukrainian infrastructure capacity and capability to export agricultural goods efficiently, increase farmers' access to financing, and expand Ukrainian businesses' capacity to dry, temporarily store, and process agricultural commodities," the agency added.

According to the US State Department, Washington has remained Ukraine's largest supplier of aid and assistance since the conflict began on February 24. The agricultural assistance comes at a time when Russian missile strikes have completely destroyed harvest and crop fields, causing Ukrainian farmers to lose their source of income and markets to suffocate.

Furthermore, Moscow's blockade of the Black Sea completely halted Ukrainian grain exports, resulting in significant financial losses for producers. It is worth noting that Ukraine was the world's fourth-largest exporter of corn and fourth-largest exporter of wheat.

Under the Agriculture Resilience Initiative for Ukraine, USAID is working with over 8,000 Ukrainian farmers to improve yields. "AGRI-Ukraine will target Ukraine's immediate agricultural export challenges while also supporting Ukraine's agriculture sector's broader needs and bolstering Ukraine's continued production of agricultural commodities through 2023," according to the statement.

The announcement of $100 million in assistance to Ukrainian farmers follows an elaborate meeting in Washington on July 19 between USAID Administrator Samantha Power and Ukraine's First Lady Olena Zelenska. Power stated on the occasion that the initiative's goal is to "help farmers get back on their feet and get the agriculture economy moving again." They also discussed Ukraine's urgent and growing health-care needs, including the First Lady's work to make mental health care more widely available, Power said in a Twitter post.

The USAID will facilitate "sustainable finance to continue operations" for Ukrainian farmers by collaborating with banks, credit unions, and governments, it said, adding that it will also bolster efforts to assist Ukraine as transportation, labour, and other input costs rise.

According to a USAID spokesperson, Washington will "work to tailor storage to individual needs - working with farmer associations - to get the right solutions to the right places." In addition, the US International Aid Agency hopes to raise an additional $150 million from donors and the private sector to supplement funds.

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