Russia's blatant aggression against Ukraine, after triggering an energy crisis, is likely to trigger a food crisis. Similar to energy security, food security will also become the focus of national strategy. The so-called "people take food as the sky", we can even think that food security is more important than energy security. The two parties to the Ukrainian War, Ukraine and Russia, are both important food producers and exporters. This is due to the fact that from Croatia, through the "central black soil region" of Ukraine and southern Russia, it extends all the way to the black soil belt of the Eastern European Plain in the southern part of western Siberia (dark brown area below).
black soil Photo Credit: David DentBoris P. BoinceanIgori Arcadie Krupenikov @ The Black Earth "Black Soil" (Chernozem or BlackSoil), as the Special Database name suggests, is black, rich in humus, and also contains a lot of minerals such as phosphorus, ammonia, magnesium, and calcium. high. In the world, only the black soil belt from the central United States of Canada can be compared with the black soil belt of the Eastern European plains. There is also a "black soil belt" in the Songnen Plain in northeastern China, known as the "North Dakang". The Chinese believe that it is tied with the former two as the "three major black soil belts in the world", but the main soil of the Northeast Plain is another type of soil with a slightly less fertile The soil (Phaeozem), and the area is also very different from the former two.
For this reason, agricultural crops in Ukraine and Russia are extremely productive, especially the three crops sunflowerseed (used for oil extraction), barley (Barley) and wheat (Wheat) . Combined, the two countries produce more than half of the world's sunflower seeds, more than 20 percent of barley and 15 percent of wheat. If you look at exports, the importance of both countries is even greater. In wheat exports, Russia ranks first (18% of global exports, the same below in 2021), Ukraine sixth (10%); barley exports, Ukraine third (14%), Russia fourth (12%); corn exports, Ukraine ranks third (10%); for sunflower oil, Ukraine ranks first (38%) and Russia second (26%). For certain regions or countries, such as the Middle East, North Africa, East Africa and other developing countries, Ukrainian and Russian crop exports account for a larger proportion. Europe relies heavily on sunflower oil (edible oil) from both countries.