Why Ukraine is called the bread basket of Europe?
Amongst the Land of Hope and Glory (England), the Land of Fire and Ice (Iceland) and the Sunny Side of the Alps (Slovenia) lays another gem of Europe, Ukraine the Bread Basket of Europe.
Obvious enough the name stems from Ukraine’s colossal produce of wheat, rye, barley amongst other harvests and grains. The secret lies with the fertile black soil called Chernozem from Russian meaning â€˜black dirt’. What makes chernozem special is that it is rich in humus, up to 16% by weight (humus is non-living organic matter found in soils containing nitrogen and phosphorous). Chernozem can aid crops survive in places with short lived summers and icy winters which is why Ukraine’s agricultural industry represents more than 10% of its GDP. With increasing international investment Ukraine’s agricultural sector could triple even quadruple with the coming years. Ukraine was renowned as supplying 25% of the former Soviet Union’s agricultural output. Today its agricultural exports are divided between Russia (20%), countries within the EU (17%), China (7%), Turkey (6%) and the US (4%), consisting of grains, vegetables, sugar, milk powder, meat and most notably as the world’s leading exporter of sunflower oil.
Ukraine most productive era came at a great cost to it’s people, during the famine of 1932, where Stalin forced collectivization lead to the death of 6 million Ukrainians, the system did not allow the consumption of produce till the government’s quota was met, peasants were forced to give up their sustenance and were prohibited from leaving their villages. They were destined to death by starvation.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has played its part to raise Ukraine from the rubble, investing millions to wipe the horrific memories that go with the territory. It now seems that the people of Ukraine have left that behind them, and they are to continue to use their most vital asset to full avail.