US and Ukraine tackle global food insecurity

During a meeting with ambassadors to the UN, US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced that the USDA and Ukraine’s Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food were entering into a memorandum of understanding ( SOFT). The MoU will help coordinate countries’ agricultural sectors and build partnership to address food insecurity.

“Ukraine needs the support of the world,” says Vilsack. “This week, I met with Ukraine’s Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food, Mykola Solskyi, to express USDA’s commitment to help rebuild and strengthen Ukraine’s agricultural sector. This Memorandum of Understanding will amplify the strategic partnership between our two nations and leverage our collective strength to improve productivity, address supply chain issues and identify food safety challenges.

Vilsack says Russia’s invasion of Ukraine poses a threat not only to Ukraine’s food systems, but also to countries in Africa and the Middle East.

“Russia uses food as a weapon and a tool of war to threaten the livelihoods of people around the world, and that’s something the farming community cannot and will not tolerate,” Vilsack said.

The MOU establishes a three-year partnership between the countries. It ensures consistent sharing of information regarding agricultural production, emerging technologies, climate-smart practices, food safety, and supply chain issues to boost productivity in the United States and Ukraine.

USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service will also provide technical assistance to Ukraine for animal health, biosecurity, and sanitary and phytosanitary controls. The United States also plans to use the Borlaug Fellowship Program and reinstate the Cochran Fellowship Program to strengthen collaboration and research between the United States and Ukraine.

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