The Black Sea Grains Initiative
The Black Sea Grains Initiative provides for a safe humanitarian corridor for the export of Ukrainian grains through the Black Sea, to tackle rising food prices due to the geopolitical conflict grappling the ‘breadbasket’. The deal brokered by the United Nations (UN) and Turkey, was signed in Istanbul in July, 2022.
It Initially stipulated for a period of 120 days, the deal was to provide for a safe maritime humanitarian corridor for Ukrainian exports, particularly for food grains.
The central idea of Black Sea Grains Initiative was to calm markets by ensuring an adequate supply of grains, thereby limiting food price inflation, A Joint Coordination Centre (JCC), comprising senior representatives from Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and the UN coordinates and oversights the deal.
All commercial ships are required to register directly with the JCC to ensure appropriate monitoring, inspection and safe passage. Inbound and outbound ships transit as per a schedule accorded by the JCC post- inspection.
The Black Sea Grain Initiative is important because Ukraine is among the largest exporters of wheat, maize, rapeseed, sunflower seeds and sunflower oil, globally.
Its access to the deep-sea ports in the Black Sea enables it to directly approach Russia and Europe along with grain importers from the Middle East and North Africa. As of October 28, over 9.3 million metric tons of grains, oil seeds and other foodstuffs had been exported under the agreement.