FAO conducts a study on the food market situation in Eastern Europe and Central Asia
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) -- The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has conducted a new study on the situation in the food market in Eastern Europe and Central Asia during the COVID-19 pandemic, Dunyo reports with reference to the UN News Center.
The FAO publication on food markets and policies does not address the situation in the countries of the European Union; its authors focus only on 14 countries in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia.
The document provides an assessment of the food situation in the region. Nevertheless, FAO experts believe that shocks in the food market cannot be avoided, and associate the main problems with the transportation, storage and sale of agricultural products.
“There is enough stock of basic foodstuffs, however, as a result of measures taken in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of countries experienced logistical failures that impeded the distribution of food products ...”, the FAO press release said.
Gathering information, FAO experts turned directly to farmers, suppliers and sellers. They found that most of the measures taken to combat the pandemic affected the system of production and marketing of fish products. Of course, losses were also suffered by street market farmers, restaurant owners, suppliers of agricultural equipment, and employees in the transportation services sector. Food producers, in particular, faced with a lack of storage space and the fact that some agricultural products quickly deteriorate.
As for the prices of many agri-food products, they remained generally stable. At the international level, wheat prices - the most important commodity in the region - have not changed. Nevertheless, fears related to the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic in April led to a slight increase in its value in exporting countries: Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation and Ukraine.
In the current crisis situation, FAO recommends that countries ensure the health of farmers and other agricultural workers, arrange for the transport of food products and ensure the supply of agricultural resources, as well as help farmers and suppliers establish refrigerated storage facilities. Experts call for financial assistance to farmers and other entrepreneurs using new loan guarantee schemes and agricultural subsidies.
The report provides an overview of the plans of major food exporters in the region during the COVID-19 pandemic. So, in the current environment, governments are striving to ensure sufficient food supplies, and against the backdrop of market shocks and uncertainties caused by the outbreak of COVID-19, to avoid rising prices for staple foods.
It is worth noting that the leadership of Uzbekistan is taking comprehensive measures to ensure unhindered transportation of food and essential goods in the region and beyond. The heads of line ministries in the regional format, as well as within the framework of international organizations, regularly consult on simplification of customs procedures and logistics in order to prevent delays in the flow of goods.