Farmers lacking tractor parts, fertilizers due to war in Ukraine, sanctions

Field.
Field. Source: Olev Kenk/ERR

The war in Ukraine coupled with Russian and Belarusian sanctions will have a knock-on effect for Estonian farmers and food producers due to shortages of fertilizers, tractors and animal feed.

Roomet Sõrmus, chairman of the Board of the Chamber of Agriculture and Commerce, said Estonians usually purchase mineral fertilizers from Russia, tractors from Belarus and animal feed produced in Ukraine.

He said it is not known exactly how big the impact will be yet.

"Some two-thirds of the fertilizers we use come from Russia and Ukraine. We import a lot of animal feed, such as rapeseed cake, from the countries under sanctions. Ukraine and Russia are very large grain producers," Sõrmus said.

He said the invasion immediately led to an increase in grain prices which will eventually affect the agriculture and food industries and consumers.

Mihkel Salum, the product manager of Baltic Agro's fertilizers, said it is no longer possible to make new purchases from Russia and there are doubts about whether existing orders will arrive.

"At the moment, the wagons are still moving, but there is uncertainty about the goods that have not been shipped," said Salum.

Tractors produced at the Minsk tractor factory are quite popular among Estonian farmers but now imports have been suspended. 

The owner of the import company Türi Bel-Est, Arvi Tammel, said although there is still demand he will not buy new machines. All the spare parts in stock will be sold.

"There are quite a lot of spare parts in there now, we will be able to satisfy the demand for them this spring. At the moment, cooperation with the Minsk plant has been suspended," said Tammel.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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