Black Sea Grain Initiative | 08 Nov 2022

Why in News?

Recently, Russia re-joined the Black Sea Grain Initiative.

What is the Black Sea Grain Initiative?

  • About:
    • The Black Sea Grain initiative endeavours to tackle escalating food prices emanating from supply chain disruptions because of Russian actions in the world’s ‘breadbasket’.
    • The deal brokered by the United Nations (UN) and Turkey, was signed in Istanbul in July, 2022.
  • Objective:
    • 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 was to calm markets by ensuring an adequate supply of grains, thereby limiting food price inflation.
  • Role of Joint Coordination Centre (JCC):
    • The deal put in place a Joint Coordination Centre (JCC), comprising senior representatives from Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and the UN for oversight and coordination.
    • All commercial ships are required to register directly with the JCC to ensure appropriate monitoring, inspection and safe passage. Inbound and outbound ships (to the designated corridor) transit as per a schedule accorded by the JCC post-inspection.
      • This is done so as to ensure there is no unauthorised cargo or personnel onboard.
      • Following this, they are allowed to sail onwards to Ukrainian ports for loading through the designated corridor.

Why is the Black Sea Grain Initiative Important?

  • 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.
  • The initiative has also been credited for having made a huge difference to the global cost of living crisis.
    • Approximately 9.8 million tonnes of grains have been shipped since the initiative commenced.
    • People hoarding the grain in the hope of selling it for a sizable profit owing to the supply crunch were now obligated to sell.
  • Although the initiative alone cannot address global hunger, it can avert the chances of the global food crisis spiralling further, especially when the region is yet to scale prior year levels.

Source: TH