KIEV, Ukraine: As Ukrainian authorities work to ensure adequate supplies of food during Russia’s intensifying war, the country’s government has banned the export of wheat, oats and other crucial staples that are essential for global food supplies.
According to a government announcement, new rules on agricultural exports, introduced this week, also prohibit the export of millet, buckwheat, sugar, live cattle and meat, and other byproducts of the cattle industry.
In a statement, Roman Leshchenko, Ukraine’s minister of agrarian and food policy, said the export ban is needed to prevent a “humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, stabilize the market and meet the needs of the population in critical food products.”
The move is the latest consequence of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which threatens the food supply and livelihoods of people in Europe, Africa and Asia who rely on the farmlands of the Black Sea region, known as the “breadbasket of the world.”
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Russia and Ukraine jointly supply nearly one-third of the world’s wheat and barley, which have surged in price since the start of the invasion, and shortages could create food insecurity in countries such as Egypt and Lebanon.
The export ban will likely reduce global food supplies at a time when prices are at their highest since 2011.