The full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine caused damages to the agricultural sector of the country for the total amount of $4.29 billion. It is stated in the analysis “Agricultural War Damages Review Ukraine”**, prepared by the team of the Center for Food Research and Land Use KSE Institute in cooperation with the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine.
“Russia’s aggression affects not only the ability to freely export our agricultural products and feed about 400 million people a year around the globe. Damage to land, infrastructure, and agricultural machinery directly affects the production of agricultural products in Ukraine. Without the restoration of lost assets, Ukraine will not be able to return to its place in global food security. Damage assessment is the first element in assessing the need for restoration,” said Roman Neyter, an expert at the KSE Institute’s Center for Food and Land Use Research.
RF’s full-scale war on Ukraine leaves three months behind, and its toll is already immense. The Ukrainian economy is projected to contract by 45%, and dozens of millions worldwide are threatened with hunger because of the disrupted exports of grains from Ukraine and continued damage to its agri-food sector.
The largest damage category is damage to the farmland, including unharvested winter crops – over $2.135 billion. Agricultural land has been affected by two significant types of damage – mining pollution and direct physical damage. Apart from the minefields, areas which have been subjected to active hostilities are also polluted with unexploded ordnance. An estimated $436 million are needed to inspect lands with a high risk of mining pollution and demine the affected areas. The second type of damage is physical damage to the fertile soil layer, e.g., the craters from artillery shellings and missile strikes, damage caused by the tracks of tanks and other military vehicles.
The Southern regions, currently under the RF’s occupation and heavy fighting, are also regions with the most developed irrigation infrastructure. The estimated replacement and repair costs for the damaged irrigation infrastructure are $225 million.
Apart from the direct damage to the lands – the occupation, military actions, and mining pollution limit farmers’ access to the fields and opportunities to collect the harvest. It will result in unharvested winter crops across many of the war-affected areas. Approximately 2.4 million hectares of winter crops could be unharvested, resulting in $1.435 billion in damages.
The agricultural machinery and equipment are also being damaged by shellings, airstrikes, and battles taking place in close proximity. Tractors and trucks have a higher risk of being damaged than other types of farm equipment. They can be used not only for farming activities but also for war-related purposes, such as, for example, trenches digging, transportation, and logistics.
This increases the probability of farms being located in the active warzone and makes them targets for expropriation. The estimated cost of replacing and repairing the damaged machinery is $926.1 million.
RF is reportedly precisely targeting elevators and other storage facilities because these damages weaken Ukrainian agricultural capacity. Given that storage facilities are frequently located in the open area and provide an excellent sight of the surroundings – they as well suffer from direct military assaults to limit the enemy’s situational awareness. The general amount of damages due to the destruction of storage facilities is estimated at $272 million.
The combined estimated value of livestock loss damages exceeds $136 million. Farm animals are dying directly because of the hostilities and because of the farmers’ inability to either access the farm or get animal feed and provide animals with needed veterinary support and care. The estimated number of animals that died because of the RF’s aggression is 42 thousand heads of sheep and goats, 92 thousand heads of cattle, 258 thousand pigs, and over 5,700 thousand heads of poultry.
The full version of Agricultural War Damages Review Ukraine.
** We base our estimates on the rapid damage assessment methodology compliant with the World Bank and FAO. Upcoming is the commentary Agricultural War Losses Review. War damages are calculated as the monetary value of physical assets that are destroyed (and stolen) or partially damaged (but still suitable for repairing/recovery) due to military actions and occupation. The vital difference between the damages and losses is that damages reflect the
destruction of tangible assets and inventories, while the losses accrue the foregone revenue from the unsown fields, lower yields, and higher production costs.
War damages are yet uncertain, for the war is not yet over. Therefore, in this report, we rely on indirect methods by defining the overall areas directly affected by the war, establishing a baseline of the resources located on these territories before the RF’s invasion, and applying category-specific damage coefficients for each type of the damaged assets.