Where to go with Ukrainian wheat?

The consequences of the agreement on grain exports from Ukraine are causing discontent among farmers in a number of East European countries. They complain that Ukrainian wheat is too cheap and should be sent on to other countries rather than imported. While politicians are now reacting to the complaints, commentators debate how to solve the problem.

Rzeczpospolita (PL) /

The harvest is still ahead of us

Rzeczpospolita warns:

“The mood among farmers is grim. It can also be felt on the streets of Polish cities, where farmers have been protesting for days. ... There are surpluses of local grain in the silos, grain from Ukraine is pouring out in torrents, and the harvest begins in three months. That means that prices will fall and selling local grain will become unprofitable.”

Piotr Skwieciński
Dilema Veche (RO) /

Transit must continue

The weekly Dilema Veche welcomes Poland’s decision to implement stricter controls on Ukrainian wheat transport:

“The Polish agricultural minister [Henryk Kowalczyk] had to step down because of Ukrainian grain exports. His successor [Robert Telus] has announced measures to temporarily suspend grain imports from Ukraine, while continuing to allow the transit of goods. This is a decision that could have been taken a lot sooner and it will probably also affect Romania and Bulgaria. ... The grain transport should continue, it is part of the efforts to support Ukraine in the war being waged by Russia.”

Constantin Rudnitchi
Hotnews (RO) /

A fundamental problem

The Hotnews portal calls for a complete rehaul of the food system:

“More efforts need to be made so that the wheat can leave Ukraine and be transported via Romania, Poland and Bulgaria to the places that really need it, to regions where food security is not guaranteed. It should not be dumped on local markets and it should not be fed to pigs and cows. ... To continue producing and exploiting natural resources to generate maximum yields in the name of ‘food security’ is a recipe for long-term chaos. We have to end this competition and stop playing farmers off against one another.”

Olivier De Schutter