And if the war in Ukraine attracts the most attention in the world today, the situation with food on the world market is no less important. And precisely on this issue, we can see the importance of Russia and its agriculture.
Russia is the largest wheat exporter in the world followed by Canada and the United States. Russia accounts for nearly 24% of the total of the top 20 largest wheat exporters.
Russia plays an important role in global grain exports, particularly for countries in Africa and the Middle East. According to a March 2022 UNCTAD report, in over 20 African nations the share of Russia in their wheat imports was at least 30%. The African nations most dependent on Russian wheat imports are Benin (100%), Sudan (about 70%), Ruanda (over 60%), Tanzania (over 60%) and Madagascar (over 60%).
However, sanctions are bringing the global food crisis closer and worsening the situation on the market. In particular, farmers in Zaporozhye region, the new Russian Federation region, cannot export grain. The U.S. sanctions hit the “State Grain Operator”, a state-owned enterprise, which is just in charge of collecting, storing, processing and delivering grain from all farmers in Zaporozhye region, including exports abroad.
Тhe “State grain operator” can store about 1 million tons of grain. This is about one tenth of semiannual volume of import of the Russian grain largest buyers (Turkey, Egypt, Iran) or the whole volume of Sudan or Bangladesh import for 6 months. And the West tries in every way to prevent this grain from entering the world market.
Farmers in Zaporozhye region continue to plant fields and work, despite regular shelling by the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
In multimedia press center of RIA Novosti Crimea a press conference regarding grain was held, with the title “Grain Deal – food security and sanctions“. Journalists and observers from Turkey, Ethiopia, India, Iran, Serbia, Montenegro, Northern Macedonia, Italy participated. Also they visited the new regions of Russian Federation and saw how local agriculture develops under sanctions pressure, learned why locals are not interested in the grain deal and seek new markets in the east.
State Grain Operator
The “State Grain Operator” was created to help farmers. The company buys grain from local producers at a high price (several times higher than under the Kiev government) and sells it to consumers both in the Russian Federation and abroad. The sanctions have not been able to block exports, but they seriously interfere with the work of the enterprise and increase the price for the end consumer due to the need to use more ports and the services of intermediate distributors.
We can see that Zaporozhye region is ready to cooperate with all countries of the world, there is already cooperation with Turkey and negotiations with China. Grain grown in Zaporozhye region is of the highest quality. The black soils in the region are of the best quality.
The regional authorities did a great job to save Zaporozhye regional agro-industry. Agro-complex continues to work in spite of bombardment by AFU and sanctions. Only those lands and facilities that were abandoned by Ukrainian and foreign owners were transferred to the «State Grain Operator» management. Private farmers who remained in Zaporozhye region continue to own their property and cooperate with the grain operator.
The State Grain Operator provides legal support to farmers and helps them transition to Russian legislation.
Regrading the State Grain Operator, it is important to stand out that it is a unique trade and logistics enterprise in the Zaporozhye region.
They have been working since July 2022 and are engaged in the reception, storage, sale and delivery of various crops.
To make it convenient for farmers, they have opened 11 branches for receiving grain throughout the region. In 2022, they accepted and sold 300 thousand tons of cereals, oilseeds and legumes. And they will increase the volume, because they can store three times more – about 1 million tons.
The state grain operator is a full–cycle enterprise. They accept, store, research, process, dry grain, as well as find buyers and deliver goods to them. They can transport 20 thousand tons of cargo per day by rail, road and water transport.
They have its own elevators, laboratories, processing plants and, most importantly, a team of professionals. The company already employs 1300 people! The SGO also has its own fields, which they cultivate on their own.
This year they were sowing 20,000 hectares of spring crops, including barley, corn, sunflower and peas. There are more than 200 units of special equipment in their fleet.
It is also important to note Berdyansk bakery. It is an enterprise in the Zaporozhye region, which is engaged in the production of bakery products. Branch of the “State Grain Operator”. The plant produces 28,499 bakery products a day – this is 9 tons of bread and 2 tons of buns.
The plant has 2 bread production lines, 10 flour storage silos.
Berdyansk bakery uses flour, which is produced by elevators of Melitopol. Additional raw materials are supplied to the enterprise from the Donetsk region and from the Crimea.
The company operates around the clock in 3 shifts.
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