The U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) and The Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine are entering into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to enhance coordination between the U.S and Ukrainian agriculture and food sectors and build a strategic partnership to address food security.

The announcement was made during a meeting today (Thursday, June 16) with United Nations (UN) ambassadors and officials at the U.S Mission to the U.N by US Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack.

“Since February the world has witnessed Russia’s unjustified invasion of Ukraine and the disruption it is causing to agricultural production, trade, and most importantly, food security,” Vilsack said.

“Russia’s actions are posing major threats not only to the people of Ukraine but to countries in Africa and the Middle East that rely on the grains and other staples produced in Ukraine.

“Russia is using food as a weapon and a tool of war to threaten the livelihoods of those around the world, and that is something the agriculture community cannot and will not stand for,” he added.

USDA on food security

The MOU is expected to amplify the strategic partnership between the US and Ukraine and leverage the collective strength of the two nations to enhance productivity, address supply chain issues, and identify food security challenges.

“This is an important step forward and when implemented will allow us to better fight global food insecurity together,” Vilsack said.

USDA has said that the MOU will establish a three-year partnership driven by the need to address the economic disruptions in the US and worldwide due to the Russian war on Ukraine.

Through the MOU, the US and Ukraine will agree to the consistent exchange of information and expertise regarding crop production, emerging technologies, climate-smart practices, food security, and supply chain issues to boost productivity and enhance both agricultural sectors.

USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service will also mobilise its resources to provide Ukraine technical assistance for animal health, biosecurity, and sanitary and phytosanitary controls.