Professor with Ukrainian roots lauds farmers as war with Russia nears two-year anniversary

An economics professor who grew up in Ukraine says the country’s farmers have remained resilient throughout the war with Russia.

Viktor Khanzhyn with Nebraska Wesleyan University says agricultural output has been down the last two years, but that doesn’t tell the whole story.

“Farmers were out in the fields making it work,” he said. “Just like in personal life, whenever there is a big shock, initially it has huge impact. Then with time, humans have this remarkable ability to adjust.”

He tells Brownfield Ukraine was the fifth largest producer of wheat in the world prior to the war. “Grain is a large part of our agricultural output and generally speaking, agricultural output is a big part of our exports as well. There’s a reason why Ukraine is known as the breadbasket of Europe.”

But, Khanzhyn says recent wheat yields have increased. “Which means that the efficiency is going up,” he said. “So, farmers are figuring out the ways to work with less resources that they have, but work at higher productivity level.”

He says one of the biggest concerns moving forward will be finding ways to export more grain through the Black Sea Region.

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