Canada pledges US$40 million towards Ukraine grain storage solution

UKRAINE — The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), with the financial support of Canada, has launched a new US$40 million project to address the shortage of granaries in Ukraine; support and equipment.

The funding will be used for temporary and fixed grain storage solutions, including polyethylene grain sleeves, loading machinery, and longer-term modular storage units.

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These will allow storage of an additional 2.4 million tonnes of grain during the 2022-23 marketing year along with related technical support and equipment, the FAO said.

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 tonnes of grain.

According to the Ukrainian government, out of a total storage capacity of 75 million tonnes, 14% of storage facilities are damaged or destroyed, 10% are located in Russian-occupied territories and around 30% remain filled with 22 million tonnes of last year’s harvest awaiting export.

The immediate impact of the strategy will be an expansion of storage capacity at this critical harvest time in Ukrainian, while the longer-term impact will be in sustaining global food supplies.

“Given the unprecedented storage challenges this year, innovative solutions are required at scale,” said Rein Paulsen, director of the FAO Office of Emergencies and Resilience. “For this reason, support to the sector will remain in high demand, likely into 2023.

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FAO is responding immediately to this situation while taking a longer-term view and looking to invest in durable solutions that build on sectoral capacity, in coordination with the government at national and local levels.”

The FAO recently developed a Grain Storage Support Strategy, which is an extension of its Ukraine Rapid Response Plan. It aims to cover almost 4.1 million tonnes or 25% of the total estimated storage deficit in 2022-2023, and follows Japan’s US$17 million donation in July to cover 1 million tonnes of grain storage.

The strategy also includes the support of the State Service of Ukraine on Food Safety and Consumer Protection 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 FAO said, the immediate impact of the strategy will be an expansion of storage capacity at this critical harvest time in Ukrainian, while the longer-term impact will be in sustaining global food supplies.

To date, with the additional funds from Canada, the FAO said it has raised US$70.4 million against the total of US$180.4 million needed under the Rapid Response Plan and Grain Storage Support Strategy. Still, US$110 million is also needed to support vulnerable households in rural areas.

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