The International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) is deeply concerned for the personal safety of our friends and colleagues in Ukraine, and all the journalists and communicators who are under threat of bodily harm and professional suppression in both Ukraine and Russia as a result of the current invasion.
Journalism is of utmost importance during conflict—not just for those in its midst, but for the entire world to understand what is happening. Just as important, the free and open flow of information is also vital to production and trade of food, feed, fiber and fuel. Because Ukraine is a major producer of food and livestock feed, as well as a leading export hub, suppression of the nation’s media and restriction of reporters’ movements and free expression can have destructive impacts on a global scale.
The spring planting season should begin soon in Ukraine. Farmers, advisors and traders need news, technical insights and economic information to avert additional humanitarian crises in the country—lack of access to food or even famine—as well as global shortages of agricultural products and inputs. IFAJ vigorously urges an immediate end to attacks on Ukraine’s population, including our colleagues in the media and communications fields, and a resumption of the free flow of news and information.