Ukraine worried about food production and export losses due to Kakhovka HPP destruction

According to the Ukrainian government, the destruction of the Kakhovka HPP, which has caused significant flooding in parts of Ukraine, would have an impact on both agricultural production and exports.

On June 6, a major dam in southern Ukraine was destroyed in an attack, flooding two dozen towns and forcing 17,000 people to leave.

Aside from the immediate humanitarian impacts, various ministries have warned that the flooding could majorly affect agricultural productivity in the country.

The Ukrainian agriculture ministry projected that floods would harm roughly 10,000 hectares of agricultural land on the Ukrainian-held right bank of the Dnipro River alone and “several times more on the left bank,” which is now under Russian control.

“Detailed information will be available in the coming days, following the analysis of information and images about the size of the flood,” the statement added.

The ministry also warned of water supply disruptions to “31 irrigation systems” serving crops in the Dnipro, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhya regions.

“The impacts will be in multiple dimensions,” Taras Kachka, deputy economy minister, told reporters in Brussels.

While Kachka stated that the destroyed dam would not disrupt the entire farming sector in Ukraine because “all regions of Ukraine are very significant for agriculture,” he noted that the harm to food production “will be there.”

Kachka also mentioned the incident’s influence on transportation infrastructure and thus anticipated agricultural exports via the Dnipro River and the Black Sea.

According to Ukraine, the Black Sea grain arrangement between Kyiv and Moscow, which was supposed to allow Ukrainian grain export via its Black Sea ports, has been suspended after Russia banned ship registration to Ukrainian ports.

However, after the Black Sea ports are unblocked, the harm caused by the destroyed dam may make it harder to resume exports, according to Kachka.

According to some analysts, the destruction of the Kakhovka dam will damage not just Ukraine but also the other Black Sea countries. The loss of irrigation infrastructure in rural southern Ukraine will further reduce Ukraine’s already meagre export capacity of grain.

Meanwhile, the agriculture ministry has warned that fisheries will suffer as caviar will dry up in the affected areas. 95,000 tonnes of adult fish may perish.

As a major food producer, agricultural exports are a vital source of cash for Ukraine in the face of the economic blow caused by Russia’s war of aggression.

While Moscow and Kyiv have accused one other of the dam’s destruction, most experts believe a Russian strike using explosives within the dam operated by Russians is more likely. The United States and the European Union have condemned the dam destruction as a Russian attack.

Since the beginning of the war, the EU and many of its member nations have regularly accused Russia of using food as a weapon.

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