Agreement brokered by Türkiye, UN ‘increased food availability in the world,’ helped Ukrainian farmers, says FAO chief economist
The Black Sea grain deal mediated by Türkiye and the UN has had multiple positive outcomes that were critical for Ukraine, its people, and the world at large, according to a senior official at the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).
More than 10 million tons of Ukrainian grain have been shipped since Türkiye, the UN, Russia, and Ukraine signed an agreement in Istanbul in late July.
It was extended last week for another 120 days, once again through crucial mediation efforts by Türkiye and the UN.
The movement of 10 million tons of grain out of Ukraine helped the country itself and others around the globe, Maximo Torero, chief economist at FAO, told Anadolu Agency in an exclusive interview.
“Firstly, it increased food availability in the world,” he said.
In 2021, there were more than 800 million people in the world at risk of chronic malnutrition, a crisis that was significantly exacerbated by the Ukraine war, he explained.
The war erupted at a time when food prices were already increasing because of the COVID-19 pandemic’s economic fallout, he said, adding that the halt in grain exports from Ukraine pushed up prices even further and magnified the global malnutrition threat.
Torero said the Ukraine grain deal achieved a vital goal by addressing this grim situation.
Another important outcome of the deal was that it ensured “farmers in Ukraine are being paid,” he said.
It also enabled Ukraine to free up essential grain storage capacity that “was already reaching its limit” for the new harvest, he added.