The Romanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIR) and the US Embassy in Romania organized, on Thursday, October 27, the “American Forum of Commercial Dialogues for Water and Food Security in Romania, Moldova and Ukraine”, an event organized on the sidelines of the Indagra 2022 fair.
The event brought together government and business decision-makers from Romania, Moldova and Ukraine to highlight the impact of EU and national budgets and policies on the agribusiness and infrastructure sectors. In the context determined by the crisis in Ukraine, the European Commission monitored the food security situation, taking into account the fact that Ukraine and Russia are important suppliers of grains and vegetable oils on the world market. Ukraine provides 10% of total world wheat exports, and Russia supplies 24%.
“One of the problems of Romanian agriculture is irrigation. Of the 14 million hectares of agricultural land, less than one million hectares has irrigation systems. We don’t have to complain about the drought because the Danube is less than a kilometer from the respective agricultural lands. In this context, the presence of American partners at today’s event becomes very important, thanks to the know-how they possess in this field. From the point of view of food safety, obviously, Romania, through the Port of Constanța, must ensure the transport of grain from Ukraine to the rest of Europe. Unfortunately, we face the lack of infrastructure, but also the fact that the Danube is still navigable only at certain times of the year. As president of the CCIR, I had numerous discussions with representatives of the US embassy in Romania regarding this project, to make the Danube navigable throughout the year, thus ensuring an efficient trade route for Europe”, said the president of the CCIR, Mr. Mihai Daraban.
Thomas Hanson, the commercial attaché of the US Embassy in Romania claims that “when Romania, Moldova and Ukraine develop US-EU climate finance programs and implement clean energy to power smart irrigation infrastructures, crop yields increase. When grain storage and cold chain storage are prevalent across the country, food is not wasted. When food processing centers are built and distribution is ensured, the respective state can better feed its citizens at more affordable prices. Water and food security is a matter of national security. The main responsibility of our embassy is to promote the security and mutual development of the states in the region. Investments in water and agri-food security will ensure a healthier population and prosperous citizens”.
“Agriculture is probably the only economic component that speaks at the same time about social protection, trade and sustainable development. Obviously, the Covid pandemic, the energy crisis and the war in Ukraine are obstacles in terms of guaranteeing food security. Worldwide, out of eight billion people, over two billion suffer from malnutrition. Thus, a total collaboration between the developed nations is required because only in this way we will be able to overcome these obstacles”, is the opinion of the Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry of the Republic of Moldova, Mr. Vladimir Bolea.
To the Ambassador of Ukraine in Romania, H.E. Mister. Ihor Prokopchuk said: The recent actions of the Russian Federation in Ukraine are clearly undermining global food security. Because of these actions, Ukraine was no longer able to export 3 million tons of wheat, for example, leaving more than 10 million people worldwide without this extremely important food product. As of October 14, 2022, Russian inspectors who are part of the Joint Coordination Center, a body created to manage a humanitarian maritime corridor to allow ships to export grain and related food products and fertilizers from Ukraine, are deliberately delaying inspections of Ukrainian ships carrying grain, at the moment there are over 165 ships blocked near the Bosphorus Strait.