THE NFU president discussed the impact of the war with Russia on Ukrainian farms and farming families with the director of the Ukrainian National Agrarian Forum (UNAF), Mariia Didukh, this week

Minette Batters said that farmers in Ukraine are facing horrifying challenges, however, the farmers there will still be looking to grow food, look after their animals and secure their livelihoods.

The knock-on effects of this war will be felt globally. Ukraine is famously the breadbasket of the world – 400m people rely on Ukrainian crops, some living in the poorest parts of the world.

Mariia Didukh explained that though the winter crops were good, they have had lower yields than in previous years. Alongside this, ports are blocked, railways damaged, and fuel is scarce.

The massive issue of the lack of fuel is one of the main areas where support is needed. Farmers there are also tackling a shortage of farmworkers, as citizens have joined the fight to defend their country, and there is also a shortage of vets and veterinary medication.

Many farmers have been killing livestock to supply the army and civilians with food. With imports blocked, there is also a need for herbicides and seeds.

Ms Batters said: “In all my time at the NFU and throughout my lifetime, I don't think I have ever done a call that moved me so much.”

She explained that the best thing we can do is to try and get money to them to help them get the fuel, vet meds, herbicides and seeds they need.

She said: “There are massive implications for the world too and global food security. It's going to be a huge issue when I look to the countries that Russia and Ukraine provide 100 per cent of their grain.”

Minette Batters said that farming families here in the UK are keen to help with Ukrainian refugees. Many NFU members have already indicated they would like to give shelter and house refugees under the new government scheme.

Though farming is all about the future and, for now, the future is uncertain, it was stressed how important it is for Ukrainian farmers to see that they continue to have communication and support from across the world.