Market News & Headlines >> Ukraine Crop Sowings Advance; Land Mines a Problem

Planting of Ukraine’s spring crops continues to advance but is reportedly being impeded by the presence of land mines left by Russian troops in previously occupied areas.

Ukraine producers reported sowed another 500,000 hectares of spring crop area between April 7 and April 11. As of April 7, spring crop had been planted on 1.074 million hectares of land.

However, roughly 300,000 square kilometers (116,000 square miles) or about half of Ukraine’s land area needs to be checked for explosives left by Russian troops, an official with Ukraine’s State Emergency Service said on Monday, according to a report from Bloomberg News Service report.

Meanwhile, deputy agriculture minister Taras Vysotskiy reportedly said “conservative” estimates are that Ukraine will be able to sow 70% of its expected spring crop area in 2022, but sowings can reach 80% of the pre-war expectations if the country manages to clear mines in northern regions.

“If the territories of Chernihiv and Sumy regions, which have huge agricultural areas, can be cleared of mines in coming weeks, the sown area may increase to 80%,” state-run Ukrinform news agency quoted Vysotskiy as saying.

Vysotskiy said that even if the area under spring crops would be reduced, Ukraine will be able to provide itself with food. “If you look at what we plan to sow 70%, then 30% to 40% of them will be for domestic consumption. And there will also be some volume for exports,” he said.