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Ukraine’s farmers fight on the front line of global food crisis


Ukraine’s farmers fight on the front line of global food crisis

The country is a key producer of sunflower oil, wheat, corn and even honey, and the effects are being felt everywhere

Aine Quinn and Volodymyr Verbyany

Around this time of year, Yaroslav Andrushko would normally be overseeing the sowing of crops on his 1,000-hectare farm in the Vinnytsya region of central Ukraine.

Instead, he swapped his workwear for fatigues, joining the army a day after Russia invaded his country. “Once a farmer always a farmer,” said Andrushko, the CEO of a small agriculture company. “But circumstances required us to take up arms.”

As Ukrainians resist Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military machine, the 36-year-old is another example of the resilience shown by so many of his compatriots in protecting their nation’s statehood. Yet Andrushko and farmers like him are also defending a core component of the global food supply chain that’s increasingly in peril...

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