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Agricultural production and global food security in Eastern Europe

On 19 January 2024 at the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA), international panel guests from politics, economics and science discussed the topic of "Sovereign, resilient, sustainable. World food and agricultural production of the future on the Eurasian continent". The event took place as part of the International Green Week in Berlin.

The expert panel was opened with a recorded message from the German Minister of Agriculture, Cem Özdemir.

IAMO scientist Franziska Appel then gave a presentation on the topic of "Resilience in agriculture". Based on the results of the EU research project "SURE-Farm", she explained which skills and policy measures are suitable for increasing the resilience of agricultural systems to future challenges and changing framework conditions.

Dirk Stratmann, country spokesman for Ukraine and Central Asia at the German Agribusiness Alliance, introduced the panellists and opened the discussion.

Ukraine's Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Markjan Dmytrasevich, described how the country has developed from a wheat importer to a wheat exporter over the last 30 years. Ukraine thus occupies a central position on the world market. This success is due less to state subsidies and more to the initiative of farmers and the use of new technologies. Even though the war of aggression destroys agricultural technology and silos in many places and has weakened agriculture, the production and creation of value of Ukrainian food should be increased in the future.

Head of the German-Ukrainian Agricultural Policy Dialogue, Mariya Yaroshko, explained in her speech that Ukrainian agriculture is undergoing a transformation process. Ukraine has great potential to open up new markets and cover niches in food production. However, the country is dependent on the support of the EU through an intensive exchange of information. Yaroshko is particularly concerned that Ukraine is seen as an important trading partner in the European Union, which could contribute to a stronger market position for the EU and global food security.

The company Horsch Maschinen GmbH is specialised in the development of new technologies in arable farming. Managing Director Cornelia Horsch explained that more and more people in the world need to be nourished, but fewer skilled labourers want to work in agriculture. This requires increasing digitalisation and automation in agriculture. In order to increase yields, agricultural machinery is constantly being adapted to the soil conditions and climatic changes.

As a result of the war of aggression, a lot of farmland has been lost, particularly in the south of Ukraine, reported Anastasiia Bilych, Head of Marketing at Arnika Organic Kyiv. Furthermore, agricultural technology was destroyed, transport routes were hampered, producers were no longer certified and many skilled agricultural workers emigrated. Nevertheless, investments in Ukrainian agriculture, including organic farming, have resulted in high yields and far-reaching exports as far afield as Japan and America. The stability of donors and contractual partners is therefore crucial at present.

The panel discussion was jointly organised by IAMO and the German Agribusiness Alliance (GAA) in cooperation with the Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations. You can find further information on the event here.

About the GFFA

The 16th Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) took place in Berlin from 17 to 20 January 2024 under the title "Food Systems of the Future: Together for a World Without Hunger". The GFFA is an international conference on agricultural and food policy issues. It was organised by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) in cooperation with the Senate of Berlin and Messe Berlin GmbH.


Daniela Schimming

Daniela Schimming

Public Relations
Room: 211

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Prof. Dr. Alfons Balmann

Prof. Dr. Alfons Balmann

Director of IAMO
Head of Department Structural Change
Room: 140

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