Digitalisation of agriculture and carbon farming development are just two of the areas the UN will support Ukraine to develop, following a new deal agreed by both parties.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ukraine has signed a memorandum of understanding with the country’s Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food.
The aim of the deal is to increase Ukraine’s competitiveness in the agricultural sector through so-called ‘climate smart’ approaches. This will be in line with the Nationally Determined Contribution of Ukraine as set out by the 2015 Paris Agreement.
According to the memorandum, the cooperation will support the introduction of pilot projects to enhance the access of agricultural producers to green financing and elaborate logistics solutions facilitating transportation of produce to other countries.
It will also focus on supporting organic agriculture development, and compliance with sustainability criteria in accordance with the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive.
Ukraine’s agriculture sector has been hugely disrupted by Russia’s invasion of the country. Known as the breadbasket of Europe, The disturbance has had intense knock-on effects for many other countries, which rely on Ukrainian exports for vital ingredients like sunflower oil and grains.
Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian ports has contributed to food scarcity and price hikes. It has taken several months to agree upon a deal between the countries so that farmers’ crops can be exported, but levels remain much lower than usual.
“Before the war we were one of the biggest exporters of wheat, corn and oil,” said Deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine Denys Bashlyk. “After Russia launched full-scale war, the world understood that without Ukraine, the world’s food security is threatened.
“Many countries ended up in difficult conditions, in some countries we can see high inflation rates, and what is worse, millions of people have ended up on the brink of starvation.”
The memorandum is the latest action taken with the UNDP to help strengthen Ukraine’s recovery in the face of war. Other support includes offering training to women-led business ventures and providing emergency education on psychological stress during wartime.
“This partnership will bring better access to green financing and digital tools, low-carbon technologies and carbon markets,” said UNDP Interim Resident Representative in Ukraine, Manal Fouani.
“Our joint efforts will contribute to the green recovery pathways in Ukraine, while ensuring the role of agriculture in the Nationally Determined Contribution of Ukraine to the Paris Agreement. Most importantly, our partnership will help Ukraine retain its position as one of the key agriculture suppliers worldwide.”
Find out why the effects of the Ukraine-Russia war are so far reaching in this Food Matters Live Podcast episode: