The Ukraine Report: Farmers help put a band-aid on country-wide food shortages

Due to the continued war, many people throughout Ukraine are in need and facing food shortages. Farmers there and USAID came together to help.

Latifundist Media has partnered with us to provide boots-on-the-ground coverage:

The occupation of southern Ukraine, particularly Kherson region, a traditional vegetable-growing region, brought the risk of a shortage of this food group across the country. The USAID Agriculture Growing Rural Opportunities Activity (AGRO) and a community in Lviv region of western Ukraine stepped in to help.

“We harvested potatoes, carrots and other vegetables. We prepared stews, collected them in the community and sent them to the south,” said Maria Diskant, Zabolottiv Village Head.

People stocked the sacks in carts, railcars, and tractors. Many were involved. Maria describes how it was done.

“Flashlights, candles, hotplates were loaded onto trucks so that some old lady in a cold house in Kherson region could cook hot soup.”

Novovorontsovka community is in Kherson region in the south of Ukraine. This region has always been famous for its bountiful harvests. Tomatoes, onions, and early potatoes grown here were sold and consumed across the country. But this year, the local farmers found themselves on the verge of a food crisis because they could not plant anything due to the occupation

“Russia’s military aggression prevented us from planting potatoes, beets, carrots, and cabbage in our sunny Kherson region last year. The residents of Novovorontsovka community could not plough and tend their fields and gardens last spring. Instead, their lands were mined, destroyed by tank tracks and explosion craters, and littered with wreckage,” says Lyudmila Martynenko, Secretary of the Novovorontsovka Village Council.

More than 70 percent of all agricultural land in Kherson region has to be demined. 60 percent of the region’s agricultural enterprises are either damaged or destroyed. These problems will unfortunately have a long-term impact; therefore, it is extremely important to establish consistent cooperation between territorial communities to support people in the liberated territories and the food security of Ukraine.

That report was powered by Latifundist Media, with USAID support provided through Agriculture Growing Rural Opportunities (AGRO) Activity implemented in Ukraine by Chemonics International. For more information, visit their website or follow them on social media.