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Date: December 25, 2023 Time: 11:08:49

Millions of tons of crucial crops such as wheat, barley and oats are They sow and harvest in regions of Ukraine occupied by Russia despite the war. The problem is that it is difficult to know exactly how much is produced or where it is actually going. Estimating volumes is complicated, so much so that some top analysts simply exclude those Moscow-controlled regions from their forecasts entirely. This is because, as the war continues, it is increasingly difficult to obtain reliable information about how much is planted and harvested? And while some of the crops are consumed in those regions, other quantities are shipped to Russia or mixed with Russian grains and sold on the world market. However, NASA’s Agriculture and Food Security program offers a clue to the volumes. According to research using satellite images, about 6.4 million tons of wheat were harvested, similar to Bulgaria’s total productionand almost 1.5 million tons of sunflower seeds in the Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine this year. Although it is not enough to tip the global balance, it is a significant amount that is not taken into account in industry reports that traders They are used to evaluate supplies and exports, which can affect market prices. Additionally, inadvertently handling grain from occupied regions could increase legal risks for international traders. “We’re talking about a tremendous amount of grain,” explains Inbal Becker-Reshef, director of the NASA Harvest program. “It is absolutely critical to have this information available and transparent, Assessing the value and damage of grain grown on occupied lands is also important for any recovery Ukraine may make for reparations to Russia. POT does not show how much of the grain grown is exported, it helps indicate how much could potentially mix with Russian shipments, which are headed to countries in the Middle East and Africa. Organizations forecasting supplies face a dilemma about which areas to include. The US Department of Agriculture has said its estimates for Ukraine include Crimea but not other occupied regions. The Agricultural Market Information System includes Crimea as part of the Russian Federation, but excludes the Russian-occupied regions of Donetsk, Zaporizhia, Luhansk and Kherson from both the Russian and Ukrainian estimates, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, which houses the AMIS Secretariat, said by email. Russian President Vladimir Putin stated this month that the Russia’s total harvest would include 5-6 million tons of grain from Ukrainian regions controlled by the Kremlin, according to the Interfax agency. The amount could be even higher, according to the president of the Ukrainian Grain Association, who this month told Forbes that about 15 to 16 million tons of all crops are produced in occupied areas. “Oh yougreat uncertainty about the state of Ukrainian agriculture in the occupied territoriesincluding the lack of reliable data to adequately assess how much this area produces,” the U.S. Department of Agriculture said by email. Another question is how much grain is being passed off as Russian. The top U.S. prosecutor Swiss It warned traders last year to stay away from food allegedly looted from Ukraine or risk committing a war crime. The purchase of agricultural materials or oil are part of Western sanctions against Russia because they help finance the war, an item from which both gas and some metals are excluded for the moment. But reliably tracking grain supplies can be difficult, especially once they mix with other origins. While large Western traders have opted to stop buying grain directly from Russian farmers, they can even handle shipments from Russia, the world’s top wheat exporter. Currently, there is a lack of controls on the origins of Russian exports, according to Artem Svyryd, head of strategy and investment at Smart Holding. “It is not fair not to monitor production,” denounces this expert whose company has a stake in the HarvEast agribusiness, which lost part of his land in the invasion. “There should still be some verification by the international community and global institutions. Ukraine cannot do this aloneNASA Harvest research also shows that about 7% of Ukraine’s farmland was abandoned this year, mostly along the front lines. Becker-Reshef hopes the methods can help show how war and extreme weather impact production in other parts of the world. “It is extremely important that we be transparent about those numbers. “It’s an area we can’t ignore,” she says.

By NAIS

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