This dispatch outlines some of the immediate consequences and long-term challenges posed by the Ukraine war on food security and production systems in Eastern Europe. We draw particular attention to the food aid and provisioning realities around many million (and increasing) numbers of Ukrainian refugees, and the current lack of systemic, government-coordinated responses to the humanitarian crisis. Further, we outline the distinct forms of agriculture characterizing Eastern Europe, notably, the short supply chains and farming networks that are socially and environmentally unique and valuable, and are a result of the persistence of smaller, family-led farms. However, these farms and farmers are facing increasingly difficult times as a result of inflation, rising fuel prices, rationing, climate stress, export bans, and now large numbers of refugees arriving to some already very poor rural areas. We highlight the need for these multiple stresses to be discussed together, for their consequences on food production in the short and long term, especially as the effects of the war extend beyond the region. These stresses include, in the immediate, a lack (and a lack of reliability on) of state aid and infrastructures for refugee hosts and food aid organizations and, in the longer term, persisting EU-policy and market pushes toward intensification that will greatly challenge the smallholder system in Eastern Europe.

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