With the Black Sea ports blocked by the war, exporting grain from Ukraine has become a big problem, in a country that is one of the world’s leading producers of grain and oils. vegetables, so the producers have to find any way out.

How to build a silo in Slovakia, to take it there by train and be able to distribute it in different European countries, explains Volodímir Klepoch, head of the Baryshev Grain Company in the Ukrainian town of Myrhorod, to Efe.

Before the Russian invasion, they exported between 85 and 90% of their production through the ports, but with the war they had to find a way to export their corn, soybeans or sunflowers, some 200,000 to 300,000 tons, depending on how it is. the harvest each year.

The solution in his case was to buy the silo in Slovakia and have workers over 60 take it out of Ukraine, because the martial law imposed by the war prevents men from 18 to 60 from leaving the country, except in certain circumstances. years.

Then from there, Klepoch details, it is taken to other European countries, although not without difficulties, as wagons accumulate waiting to be able to continue on their way, because it is not easy to suddenly assume by rail a flow of merchandise that was previously on its way. most per port.

Ukraine has a track gauge of the former Soviet Union, so the cargo must be transferred at the border of countries such as Poland, and it is not possible to go to the Baltic through Belarus, since it is an ally of Russia.

In addition to the increase in costs, which remains to be seen to what extent it affects the price of grain, he warns.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has warned of “multiple imminent food crises”, due to causes such as the war in Ukraine, which has further exacerbated price increases in products such as food.

The problem may worsen if the war prevents the harvest from being harvested this summer and the next one from being planted in the fall, the FAO has warned.

“The world has to understand that it needs Ukraine’s production,” asserts the head of the company, adding that if the country enters the European Union, the European Community will be the first beneficiary.

Other European countries, among which he cites Poland and Hungary, had closed grain stores that are now reopening.

Baryshev Grain Company’s silos in Myrhorod are about two hours’ drive from kyiv, and its silos in Chernigov further north were damaged during a missile attack and have not been repaired.

“The most important thing is that we didn’t have a single worker injured,” he says.

The company also produces “ecological diesel” from corn residues, “so as not to depend on Russian oil,” says the manager of the silo.

Ukraine has denounced that thousands of tons of grain have been stolen and partly exported by Russian ships in parts of the country occupied by Russia, which denies this, while an agreement to open a corridor through which Ukrainian exports leave through the Black Sea to Turkey.

The problems to export the Ukrainian production can especially affect countries in the Middle East and above all in Africa, where in some the drought threatens famine if grain does not arrive.

Ukraine is the world’s sixth largest producer of wheat and corn, fourth in barley, which in the case of some countries in Africa and Asia represents between a third and a half of their imports. Russia is another of the largest producers, but cannot export due to the sanctions imposed by the war.

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