Canada has contributed almost €40m to pay for the storage of an additional 2.4m tonnes of grain in Ukraine between 2022 and 2023.

The funding will deliver temporary and fixed grain storage solutions for grain in Ukraine, including polyethylene grain sleeves, loading and unloading machinery and longer-term modular storage units targeting small- and medium-sized farms.

The investment is part of an international call from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to further address grain storage shortages in Ukraine.

Canada’s finance will support the near-€17m already provided by the government of Japan to cover 1m tonnes of grain storage in Ukraine under the same FAO initiative.

With the harvest of winter crops having commenced in July and spring crop harvests beginning later in the year, Ukraine is expected to harvest up to 51.1m tonnes of cereal in 2021.

Storage capacity

According to its government, of Ukraine’s total storage capacity of 75m tonnes, 14% of the storage facilities are damaged or destroyed, 10% are located in Russian-occupied territories and approximately 30% remain filled with 22m tonnes of last year’s harvest.

Ukraine’s leaders say this 22m tonnes of grain still awaits export due to infrastructural and logistical difficulties.

Support to the sector will remain in high demand, likely into 2023

“Given the unprecedented storage challenges this year, innovative solutions are required at scale. For this reason, support to the sector will remain in high demand, likely into 2023,” said FAO office of emergencies and resilience director Rein Paulsen.

Canada and Japan’s investments are part of the FAO’s ‘Grain Storage Support Strategy’, which aims to support the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine to cover 4.07m tonnes of grain or 25% of Ukraine’s total estimated national storage deficit of 16m tonnes between 2022 and 2023.