KYIV, Ukraine¬† (¬† Ukraine, one of the world’s major wheat producers, is set to help United Nations fight hunger in several regions of the world. This was one of the key messages the Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych conveyed to the United Nations during his visit to the UN General Assembly.

In his speeches and meetings with the world’s leaders Yanukovych expressed his certitude that Ukraine will soon play a much more important role in fighting world food crisis because of the country’s large agricultural potential. Notably, last year Ukraine became the donor of the UN World Food Programme for the first time.

According to Sergiy Liovochkin, the Ukrainian President’s Chief of Staff, Ukraine intends to become one of the world’s top five agricultural producers in the nearest future. Currently, Ukraine ranks 8th among the world’s top wheat producers, according to UN Food&Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

Grain is also among Ukraine’s main exports to many countries worldwide. According to Ukraine’s Agripolicy officials, this year’s harvest is estimated to be at 40 mln tons, which will provide for 14 to 15 mln tons for export, as an average annual consumption of grain inside the country is around 26 mln tons. On top of that, Ukraine now is the world’s main exporter of sunflower oil with 2,5 mln tons of export done last year and holds leading positions in other agricultural products.

Notably, hunger stands among the key humanity problems that the UN Millennium Development Goals intend to eradicate. Reporting on the other Millennium Development Goals’ implementation in Ukraine at the UN General Assembly the Ukrainian President noted that his administration was able to improve its efforts in the area of social protection (increased minimum wage and pension rates), guarantee access to and high quality of education, decrease child mortality and improve maternal health. Resolving these and other issues, including gender equality and environmental safety, will remain a top priority for the current administration, he said.

During his two-day trip to New York, the Ukrainian Head of the State has also met with several world’s leaders, namely with the President of Austria Heinz Fischer, President of Israel Shimon Peres, President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam Nguyen Minh Triet.

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