Two Russian soldiers guard a wheat field in Zaporizhzhia, an area controlled by the Red Army. Photo: AP
Russian forces have occupied about 22% of Ukraine’s agricultural land since the February 24 invasion, hitting one of the main suppliers of world markets of grains and edible oils, NASA said Thursday.
satellite data analyzed by scientists from the US space agency show that the occupation of eastern and southern Ukraine gives Russia control of the land that produces 28% of the country’s winter crops, mainly wheat, canola, barley and ryeand in particular 18% of the summer harvests corn and sunflower.
Disruption of harvesting and planting, lack of manpower and bombing of fields could have a strong impact on world food supplyNASA scientists said so.
NASA’s Earth Observatory has provided data on the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Photo: AFP
“The barn of the planet is at war”said Inbal Becker-Reshef, director of the space agency’s Harvest program, which uses satellite data from the United States and Europe to study global food production.
According to US statistics, Ukraine supplied before the war 46% sunflower oil marketed globally, 9% of wheat, 17% of barley and 12% of corn.
Anti-tank defenses in the middle of a cultivated field in the Mykolaiv region of eastern Ukraine. Photo: AFP
The Russian invasion blocked food exports from Odessa, the main port of the Black Sea, and storage infrastructure destroyed and transport in some areas.
“We are in the early stages of a creeping food crisis which is likely it will affect all countries and the people of the earth in a sense, ”Becker-Reshef said.