UKRAINE- Germany has pledged to provide additional air defense systems to Ukraine, to safeguard Ukrainian grain shipments from potential Russian attacks, as recently reported by Bloomberg. 

The aim is to fortify and secure the transportation of essential agricultural products as Ukraine is one of the largest exporter of grains, mostly to third-world countries in Africa.

Germany’s commitment encompasses the dispatch of an extra IRIS-T air defense system and more than a dozen Gepard anti-aircraft guns. 

These defense mechanisms will protect shipments of Ukrainian agricultural products en route to Romania, traversing Ukraine’s southern coast.

The bolstered air defense systems are set to play a crucial role in aiding Ukraine to amplify grain and agricultural product deliveries, mainly through its designated “humanitarian corridor” along the Danube River and overland transportation routes. 

This corridor has proven effective since Russia’s withdrawal from the Black Sea Grain Initiative in July.

Ukraine has shown resilience and determination in utilizing the humanitarian corridor to sustain grain shipments despite the challenges posed by a de facto Russian blockade on vital sea exports. 

Recently, Ukraine’s navy revealed that 12 more cargo vessels were prepared to access the Black Sea shipping corridor, reinforcing the nation’s commitment to ensuring the uninterrupted flow of goods to its ports.

The collaboration between Germany and Ukraine to bolster air defenses showcases a united front in mitigating security risks, allowing for the safe passage of crucial agricultural shipments, essential for both Ukraine’s economy and global food security.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Agrarian Policy and Food Ministry states that Ukrainian farmers harvested 46.7 million tonnes of grain and oilseed crops as of October 6, 2023.

According to the country’s agricultural ministry, the harvest indicates an average yield of 4.79 tonnes per hectare.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) had predicted that this year’s output would be around 45 million tonnes as production continues to suffer because of the war with Ukraine. 

While the current harvest has already surpassed the USDA forecast, it is a reduction from the 53.1 million tonnes produced in 2022 and even lower than the record 86 million tonnes of grain harvested in peaceful 2021.