Why is Ukraine known as the ‘breadbasket of Europe’? Here’s what it produces and exports
Ukraine is known as the ‘breadbasket of Europe’ and is amongst the top three exporters of grain in the world.
It boasts some of the most fertile land on earth, with rich black soil, chernozem, that is perfectly suited to growing grains.
Chernozem is extremely fertile and is known to produce high agricultural yields, thanks to its high moisture storage capacity.
Indeed, Ukraine has the ability to provide enough food for half a billion people, maybe more.
Around 32 million hectares of land is cultivated each year, with Ukraine and Russia supplying a quarter of the world’s wheat, and half of its sunflower products.
The country’s main crops include sunflower, corn, soybeans, wheat and barley.
More than 70 per cent of the country is made up of prime agricultural land.
Ukraine ranks first in the world in global sunflower and sunflower oil production and export.
It also ranks highly as a producer and exporter of barley, corn, rye and wheat.
Ukraine is also a large producer of potatoes – believed to be the fourth largest in the world, in fact.
According to statistics, Ukraine’s cereals and soybean production is expected to reach 78 million tonnes in two years’ time.
With 42 million hectares of agricultural land available, Ukraine’s agri-food potential is huge.
While rising oil and gas prices have been making headlines, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is likely to drive up food prices around the world, as buyers rush to find alternative supplies of wheat, corn and sunflower oil.
Russia is one of the biggest exporters of fertilisers and there may be another rise in nutrient prices which, in turn, could impact upon crop yields, causing further price hikes at the till for consumers - from bars of chocolate to packs of pasta.