Ukrainian farm industry has lost 8.7 billion from war damage

Ukraine is one of the world's top wheat producers. But farmers there now face severe difficulties because of the Russian invasion.

The country's Ministry of Agriculture and Food says machinery, grain warehouses and water supply facilities have been destroyed in attacks, leaving many farmers unable to continue their work.

The World Bank estimates Ukraine's agricultural sector has suffered damages worth 8.72 billion dollars.

Reviving the agricultural sector is a major challenge for Ukraine's government.

Farmer struggling after Russian troops pass through

65-year-old Petro Khodenko, who runs a farm in the suburbs of Kyiv, says Russian troops destroyed his warehouse and agricultural equipment, causing around 1.25 million dollars of damage.

Petro Khodenko says Russian troops caused extensive damage to his property.

He says this — combined with soaring grain and fertilizer prices — will prevent him from matching his usual wheat output this year. Khodenko says he has prepared less than half the amount he typically does.

"I need financial and technical help to stand on my own feet again," he says.

Russian troops damaged Khodenko's farming equipment.

Russian landmines hamper recovery

Landmines and explosives left in fields by the Russian military are one of the biggest obstacles preventing Ukraine's agricultural sector from recovering.

Police say they have so far removed landmines from around 1,800 hectares of land around Kyiv. But they say they continue to find explosives left by Russian troops in nearby fields and forests.

One official said finding and removing explosives is an expensive and time-consuming process and called on the international community to provide support.

Ukraine's defense minister recently said it could take about 30 years to remove all such explosives.

Learning from farming revival in Japan's disaster-hit areas

A six-member delegation led by Ukraine's Deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food, Markiyan Dmytrasevych, traveled to the Japanese city of Sendai on Wednesday. They visited farming areas that had been affected by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.

A Ukrainian delegation visited the city of Sendai on April 19.

The officials toured restored farmland and an agricultural water drainage facility. They also met farmers who spoke about the difficulty of reviving agriculture as a local industry and how many farms went out of business immediately following the disaster.

The Ukrainian officials asked questions about the extent of support offered by the government and how the farmers' business has changed over the years.

Dmytrasevych met with reporters afterwards and said he got a sense for the crucial role technology played in helping the areas recover. He added that he learned a lot about the use and management of water systems.

Ukraine's Deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food, Markiyan Dmytrasevych, speaking to reporters on April 19.