And so I didn't notice the news in April 2020: Farmland in Ukraine – Zelensky enacts law on sale from July 2021 — UNIAN, which the site presents as good news for Ukrainians ("The law will enable the realization of citizens' constitutional rights to dispose of their property freely." That omits all the fine print, which is awful news for Ukranian farmers.
The secret of the plantations, of their success, lies largely in their soil. The most fertile soils for cultivation are generally known as Mollisols, which occupy 7% of the ice-free surface of the Earth.
These soils are characterised by a thick black top layer or A horizon, the "chernic horizon", which must be at least 25 cm thick and is rich in decomposed plant material and therefore contains a lot of humus and carbon. In Ukraine, the thickness of the chernic horizon can reach several metres. This soil is known in Ukraine and Russia under the name of Chernozems "black ground".
As I said these lands fed the Russian Empire, the disruption of production caused the brutal famine commonly known as the holomodor.
The productivity of this land is so great and the land itself is in such demand that the sale of agricultural land has been illegal in Ukraine since 1992 until the ban was lifted in 2020, but the land, transported by truck, could be sold and bought illegally.
Russia, too, is a major food producer, and not surprisingly, Russia's most productive lands are those adjacent to Ukraine, although thanks to climate change these are increasing. These lands are inside the "black soil" belt that extends almost until Siberia as we saw. [Map]
Ukraine has more than 41.5 million hectares (or 102.5 million acres) of agricultural land that cover 70% of the country. In 2020, Ukraine’s agriculture sector generated approximately 9.3% of GDP. Crop farming, which accounts for 73% of agricultural output, dominates Ukrainian agriculture, according to the International Trade Administration.
The country’s main crops are sunflowers, corn, soybeans, wheat and barley. Globally, Ukraine ranks:
1st in global sunflower production (For 2021/22 Ukraine sunflower seed production is estimated at a record 17.5 MMT)
6th in global corn production. (For 2021/22 Ukraine corn production is estimated at a record 42 MMT)
6th in global barley production
7th in global rapeseed production
9th in global soybean production
9th in global wheat production
This year Ukraine was forecast to account for 12% of global wheat exports, 16% for corn, 18% for barley and 19% for rapeseed. The share of agriculture in export revenues for Ukraine increased from 26% in 2012 to 45% in 2020 amounting to $22.2 billion.
As far as meat is concerned, Ukraine is not particularly strong in any one type of meat, although Russia is a major pork producer and the sanctions may affect the rest of the world.
In summary we can expect:
Crop Trade Effects
• Major disruptions in the World Wheat Market
• Significant disruptions in the World Corn Market
• Smaller direct disruptions in the World Soybean Market
Livestock Trade Effects
• Much smaller effects than the crop effects
• Most significant in poultry for both Ukraine and Russia
• More significant for Russia in the pork industry
• Smaller significance in the Beef and Dairy sectors
As we can see, most of the country's agricultural production is concentrated in central Ukraine, although the south also stands out, especially in cereals, where Russia is already the world's largest exporter.
Western Ukraine is not very productive either industrially or agriculturally. So unless the EU is able to bring factories there after the war (I assume these areas will not be under any kind of Russian influence) expect them to be even poorer areas than they are today as they will lose the industrial base of the East and maybe the central agricultural one.
As always, I have tried to keep the text short but informative. I hope you like it and don't forget to subscribe to my telegram channel: https://t.me/theRightPeople1
The developments of the Zelensky administration are a brilliant demonstration of that how populist ‘pro-people’ rhetoric can be used to promote interests of foreign powers and corporations."
Can the Russians stop what will surely happen next to Ukraine's farmers? The Russians already have their hands full in Ukraine and have more than enough of their own black soil -- that last a point the ABC report didn't mention.
But I think it's certain that if this story gets enough coverage, Zelensky's government will not have one friend among the world's anti-globalists and those who don't want to see what has already happened to many African farmers repeat in Ukraine. SouthFront made a pass at describing some of it in the report I linked to, but that is not the half of what is by now an old and predictable chain of events once international agriculture companies buy off governments.