UKRAINE— As martial law stands in Ukraine amid Russia’s continued hostility in the country, the export of buckwheat, rye and oats has been limited in order to avoid a shortage of these products.

This was announced by the Ukraine’s First Deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food, Taras Vysotsky, on the air of a nationwide telethon.

“The relevant decision of the government to ensure food security in wartime requires a monthly review of balance sheets. Our ministry does this.

And in those positions where we see a critical situation, we will limit exports. For example, now we have limited exports of buckwheat, important for bakery branches of rye, oats,” Taras Vysotsky noted.

He added that the government is monitoring the situation with products whose export is subject to licensing such as wheat and sugar, to prevent surplus exports.

“The ministry actually updates the balance sheets on a monthly basis and submits issues of this or that regulation to the government for consideration, so that products are physically available, primarily for consumption by Ukrainians,” the deputy minister explained.

The government has promised not to regulate the export of those goods that have accumulated significant balances in Ukraine.

Adding that, for exports of commodities such as sunflower oil or corn, of which the country has enough stock to satisfy both domestic and external demands, there will be no regulation.

However, efforts to export these items will be strained by blockades that have been set up by the Russian army in critical Ukrainian ports on the black sea.

“Seaports are blocked, and 70% of these exports went through them. In fact, the greater part of our border is in the war zone or with unfriendly countries. We have a very reliable ‘bottleneck’ for exports, but with much lower capacity compared to ports. I’m talking about our western border with Europe,” Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said in an interview with RBC-Ukraine.

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine at the end of February, grain shipments of all kinds—including barley and rye as well as wheat—have been blocked from exiting Ukraine.

Nearly 25 million tons of grain are currently sitting unused in Ukrainian storage facilities.

Of this, up to 12 million tons of wheat destined for global markets could fail to leave Black Sea ports because of the blockades.

Liked this article? Subscribe to Food Business Africa News, our regular email newsletters with the latest news insights from Africa and the World’s food and agro industry. SUBSCRIBE HERE