Ukraine crisis shows UK must be self-sufficient in food production - Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Peter Conwell, Malton.

THE ongoing conflict in Ukraine raises serious implications which will affect the long term future of farming and food production in Britain (The Yorkshire Post, March 10 and 11).

Ukraine exports more than 25 million tonnes of wheat a year, equivalent to 15 per cent of the world’s wheat exports and has become one of the four major world exporters of grain.

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Over one sixth of the country is used for the production of grain, and in the last 15 years the area planted for wheat has tripled, with the yields doubled.

The Ukraine flag. Picture: David Parry/PA Wire.

Ukraine provides cheap grain to Europe and Britain together with Africa and Asian countries, although China is the largest importer, taking up to 60 per cent of the yield.

It has just been announced by Ukraine that, because of the invasion by Russia, the planting of this year’s grain crop has been delayed, if not totally wiped out in parts.

This means there will be no exports of grain in 2022, as they will need it for their own consumption.

Dependent upon the outcome and duration of the war, the future grain exports after 2022 are, to coin a phrase that will be familiar with readers “in the lap of the Gods”.

Britain must, therefore, look to prepare for a future where we are self-sufficient in food production.

It does not take a crystal ball to see that if we do not look to our own resources to feed ourselves, then the future will look very bleak indeed.

This then brings in the question as to why thousands of acres of agricultural land, capable of food production, is being proposed for adaptation to solar panel farms.

We know the British Government has set a deadline for renewable energy requirements, but having electricity to power your television or fridge is no good if you are starving.

There are two proposals for solar panel farms being considered locally affecting agricultural land, namely at Old Malton (130 acres) and near Husthwaite (246 acres).

If allowed to go ahead, land will be lost for food production for the next 40-plus years and who knows what then?

Climate change is also a factor which can only add to the problem.

And as crop yields fall in those countries such as Africa where droughts are becoming the norm, populations will look to other areas to move to, with the accompanying

conflicts that will ensue as a consequence.