Helping Ukraine Helps the World

August 12, 2022 | Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario

Helping Ukraine Helps the World

News of the first shipment of Ukrainian grain earlier this month was a high point in the otherwise dire situation that is taking place as a result of the Russian invasion.

Ukraine is one of the top agricultural exporters of grains and oilseeds in the world. The current bombardment of that country is having repercussions around the globe, including soaring food prices and shortages.

The United Nations said that, even before the war, projections for 2022 were that up to 181 million people in 41 countries could face a food crisis or high levels of acute food insecurity. Without quick action on the part of all nations, the situation could be much worse.

Fortunately, Canada is among several countries working to help alleviate the situation. Recently, Ottawa promised $250 million in addition to a previously-announced half-billion dollars to the World Food program. There’s also $52 million going to Ukraine to help prevent grain from going to waste.

The House of Commons’ Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food produced seven recommendations to address the potential global food shortage and shore up Ukraine’s agricultural industry.

Among the recommendations were alternative methods for storing grain – including grain bags for temporary storage and replacing resources lost to the war such as seeds, machinery and fuel. They even advised that Canada should ramp up our own fertilizer production to reduce our dependency on Russian imports.

The government is already moving on the advice, by shipping seeds, including fast-growing buckwheat, to Ukraine. Farmers here are also doing their part to help out. In late June, Minister Bibeau said that we were on track to produce a wheat crop that’s 44 per cent bigger than last year, when western Canada was hit by drought.

While Canadian farmers have our own worries, we certainly are fortunate not to have our silos destroyed by air strikes and fields that are mined by Russian soldiers. Unlike the Ukrainians, we don’t have farm workers carrying guns instead of working in fields. This situation has created labour shortages not only in their home country, but also in places like the U.K.

Because we are so blessed we must continue and step up our ongoing efforts to help alleviate the pain and suffering that are being inflicted on our fellow humans in Ukraine and around the world.

The CFFO Commentary represents the opinions of the writer and does not necessarily represent CFFO policy. The CFFO Commentary is heard weekly on CFCO Chatham, CKXS Chatham, CKNX Wingham, and CHLP Listowel.