Poland able to handle 1 mln-2 mln tonnes of Ukrainian grain says minister

Darek Delmanowicz/PAP

Poland will only be able to transport 1 million-2 million tonnes of Ukrainian grain a month, not the 4 million-5 million tonnes needed, apparently, to ward off global food insecurity, the country’s agriculture minister said on Tuesday.

Henryk Kowalczyk said Poland lacked the technical facilities to handle the millions of tonnes of grain needed.

On Monday, Kowalczyk said Ukrainian grain exports could be transited through Poland as an alternative to its usual Black Sea route, which has been blocked in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

He also said there were plans to create a Ukrainian-Polish company to handle exports of Ukrainian grain and its transport.

Earlier on Monday, EU agriculture commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski said, after a meeting of the Polish, Ukrainian and US agriculture ministers, that Ukraine's grain exports should not fall below 4 million-5 million tonnes a month if global food security was not to be put at risk.

"Poland does not have the technical facilities to transit 4 million-5 million tonnes of Ukrainian grain monthly, 1 million-2 million tonnes would be a success," Kowalczyk said on Tuesday.

Kowalczyk said Poland would be able to adapt eight border checkpoints to handle Ukrainian grain transports. He added that rail gauge differences between Ukraine and Poland would make it necessary to reload the grain onto Polish rolling stock and trucks.