WASHINGTON (AA): The US and Ukraine have inked a three-year agreement to boost cooperation on agriculture and food production as the UN warns of devastating consequences of Russia’s war on global food security.
The agreement will see the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Ukraine’s Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food collaborate on a range of areas to “build a strategic partnership to address food security,” the USDA announced.
“Since February the world has witnessed Russia’s unjustified invasion of Ukraine and the disruption it is causing to agricultural production, trade, and most importantly, food security,” US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement.
“Russia is using food as a weapon and a tool of war to threaten the livelihoods of those around the world, and that is something the agriculture community cannot and will not stand for,” he added.
The memorandum of understanding establishes a three-year partnership through which the US and Ukraine will “agree to the consistent exchange of information and expertise regarding crop production, emerging technologies, climate-smart practices, food security, and supply chain issues to boost productivity,” according to the USDA.
The UN has repeatedly warned that the war Russia began in February is preventing critical grain exports from leaving Ukraine, raising global hunger to famine levels worldwide.
It threatens “to unleash an unprecedented wave of hunger and destitution, leaving social and economic chaos in its wake,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said June 8.
“Vulnerable people and vulnerable countries are already being hit hard, but make no mistake: no country or community will be left untouched by this cost-of-living crisis,” he added.
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