During a meeting June 16 with U.N. ambassadors and officials at the U.S. Mission to the U.N., United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced USDA and The Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine are entering into a Memorandum of Understanding to enhance coordination between the U.S. and Ukrainian agriculture and food sectors and build a strategic partnership to address food security.
“Since February the world has witnessed Russia’s unjustified invasion of Ukraine and the disruption it is causing to agricultural production, trade, and most importantly, food security,” says Vilsack. “Russia’s actions are posing major threats not only to the people of Ukraine but to countries in Africa and the Middle East that rely on the grains and other staples produced in Ukraine. Russia is using food as a weapon and a tool of war to threaten the livelihoods of those around the world, and that is something the agriculture community cannot and will not stand for.
“Ukraine needs the world’s support and this week I met with Ukrainian Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food Mykola Solskyi to express USDA’s commitment to helping rebuild and strengthen Ukraine’s agriculture sector,” Vilsack adds. “This MOU will amplify the strategic partnership between our two nations and leverage our collective strength to enhance productivity, address supply chain issues and identify food security challenges. This is an important step forward and when implemented will allow us to better fight global food insecurity together.”
The MOU will establish a three-year partnership driven by the need to address the economic disruptions in the United States and worldwide due to the Russian war on Ukraine. It is the latest action being taken by the USDA as the Biden administration addresses these problems through an all-of-government approach.
Through the MOU, the United States and Ukraine will agree to the consistent exchange of information and expertise regarding crop production, emerging technologies, climate-smart practices, food security and supply chain issues to boost productivity and enhance both agricultural sectors.
USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service will also mobilize its resources to provide Ukraine technical assistance for animal health, biosecurity, and sanitary and phytosanitary controls, and utilize the Borlaug Fellowship Program and re-establish the Cochran Fellowship Program to enhance U.S.– Ukraine collaboration and research as Ukraine rebuilds its agricultural sector.
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