Ukraine needs international assistance in demining its territory, including agricultural land. This was emphasised by Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine Mykola Solskyi during his online speech at the G7 Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting in Japan.
According to the Minister, 470,000 hectares of agricultural land in Ukraine are currently mined. So far, only 17.5% of the mined areas have been surveyed, of which 57,000 hectares are agricultural.
“The process of demining the liberated areas does not stop. But it is complex and will take decades. Today, more than 2,600 deminers from both public and private organisations are involved in mine clearance in Ukraine. With this level of effort, it will take us more than 20 years to clear agricultural land alone,” the Minister said.
He also stressed that Ukraine urgently needed specialised equipment to speed up demining. According to the Minister, a deminer manually clears 15-20 square metres per day, while demining equipment can clear 6 square kilometres. And this ensures maximum safety for deminers.
“We have an urgent need for demining equipment. We know exactly what kind of equipment it is and how much we need. And this is where we rely on your help,” Mykola Solskyi addressed his colleagues.
He stressed that international support would speed up the demining process and save the lives of Ukrainians who are forced to take daily risks.
“There are brave people among farmers who are not waiting for their turn to clear the mines. Some farmers are clearing the fields of mines on their own, using metal detectors, at their own risk,” said Mykola Solskyi.
He further stressed that the russian aggression had also caused problems with exports and logistics, leading to higher prices, lack of working capital for farmers, inability to pay loans, and loss of equipment. At the same time, Ukraine continues to supply grain to ensure global food security.
Since the beginning of the full-scale war, Ukraine has exported nearly 59 million tonnes of agricultural products. Ukraine also carries out a humanitarian mission, Grain from Ukraine, to support the world’s poorest countries. Since the initiative was launched, 6 ships with food have been sent. Four more are planned for the near future.
Story: Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine