With Russia this week pulling out of the Black Sea Grain Initiative which allowed Ukraine to export grains and oilseeds despite the ongoing war, Dr Neil Hudson MP took to the floor of the Chamber to address the UK’s involvement in rebuilding the accord.
The UN-brokered agreement facilitated by NATO ally Turkey was crucial to ensuring agricultural produce continued to be exported from Ukraine to nations in the Middle East and North Africa where it is particularly pivotal to food security.
Dr Hudson has been at the forefront of examining the UK’s food security following the invasion of Ukraine and the pandemic which both contributed to British consumers seeing price rises at the checkout. As such, he triggered an official Inquiry by the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee into the UK’s Food Security which is due to be published shortly.
As such, Dr Hudson raised the grain deal and his Committee’s report in Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office Questions in the Commons to secure assurances that the UK Government is doing all it can to restore the deal and bolster international food security.
Dr Neil Hudson MP Member of the EFRA Select Committee, said:
“The UN’s Black Sea Grain Initiative has been crucial in keeping developing nations fed across the Middle East and North Africa – that is why I was so incredibly disappointed to see the accord break down this week triggered by Russia’s deeply regrettable action leaving the deal. What we are witnessing will absolutely see struggling communities go hungry and that is not acceptable. Not only is Russia’s invasion of Ukraine devastating that country, its actions are also cynically and deliberately starving people in the Developing World.”
“Moreover, any farmer will know that if profitability is impacted one year it means they are not able to invest as much the next year, creating a vicious cycle that weakens productivity over the long-term.
“As such I was pleased to secure Ministerial assurances that the UK is working closely with UN and NATO allies to restore the deal and try to keep the flow of grain moving.
“I have worked hard alongside cross-party MPs on the EFRA Committee to develop a report with recommendations for Government on Food Security. It will be published soon, and amid such a volatile time internationally, decision makers must take note.”
Full exchange in the House of Commons:
Dr Neil Hudson MP for Penrith and The Border asked:
“Our EFRA Committee is finalising our report on Food Security, which has come into sharp focus through the Pandemic and the war in Ukraine. With Russia regrettably pulling out of the Black Sea grain deal, can my Right Honourable Friend reassure the House that the UK Government is working closely with the UN and NATO allies like Turkey to restore this deal, so important for food security across Europe and very importantly, for developing countries?”
Rt Hon Andrew Mitchell, Minister for Development and Africa, replied:
“My Honourable Friend is absolutely right and, of course, we should make it clear that the impact of what Russia is doing is directly leading to people starving in Africa. And everyone should understand that, as well as the atrocious action that Russia has taken in invading a neighbouring country.”