Some 25% of Ukraine’s agricultural land is infested by mines and unexploded ordnance, this concerns not only areas occupied by Russian forces, but also Ukrainian-controlled areas that came within artillery range. Demining programs are focusing on residential areas, not the countryside. However, some farmers say they cannot miss the spring planting season and are risking their lives by going out to work.
Negotiations are currently underway to renew the UN-brokered deal that allows Ukraine to export its grain through the Black Sea. Last year, the deal helped the country export nearly three-quarters of what it would in an average year, albeit at a much higher cost, and brought relief to global food markets that are heavily dependent on Ukrainian grain. . But this year, there is a question mark over how much Ukraine’s farmers will be able to produce.