The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization of (FAO), with the financial support of Canada, has launched a project worth USD 40 million to address the issue of grain storage shortages in Ukraine.

The Ukrainian Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food announced this in a statement, the CFTS portal reports.

According to the statement, this initiative will allow storage of an additional 2.4 million tons of grain between 2022 and 2023 along with related technical support and equipment. 

"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 tons of cereal. Out of a total storage capacity of 75 million tons, 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 tons of last year’s harvest awaiting export, according to the Government of Ukraine," the statement said.

The recently developed Grain Storage Support Strategy – an extension to the FAO Ukraine Rapid Response Plan (RRP) – aims to support the Ukrainian Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food to cover 4.07 million tons or 25 percent of the total estimated national storage deficit of 16 million tons in 2022-2023.

The strategy also includes the support of Ukraine’s State Food Safety and Consumer Protection Service 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 regions,” 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."