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9 Nov, 2023 11:27

Russia sending 25,000 tons of free wheat to Africa – customs service

The humanitarian shipment has already set sail from the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk
Russia sending 25,000 tons of free wheat to Africa – customs service

A Russian ship carrying 25,000 tons of free wheat has set sail for Africa from the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk, the Russian Federal Customs Service announced on Telegram on Wednesday.

The vessel has already left the Russian port and is now on the way to its destination, although the statement did not specify in which African country it would be arriving.

“A vessel arrived at the maritime port of Novorossiysk to load 25,000 tons of wheat. The cargo is intended for one of the African countries as humanitarian aid,” it read.

According to the Russian Federal Customs Service, “customs officers, as a priority matter, carried out the necessary operations and released the goods.”

It is the first ship destined for Africa under arrangements for the supply of 200,000 tons of grain free to African countries, which were put in place after the Black Sea Grain Initiative was terminated.

According to Sputnik Africa, the new arrangements will see ships carrying 25,000 tons of grain first arrive in Turkey, where the grain will be processed in private flour mills. The flour will then be shipped and distributed among African countries.

During the plenary session of the Russia-Africa Forum in St. Petersburg in July, Russian President Vladimir Putin made an agreement to provide free food to six African nations: Burkina Faso, Mali, the Central African Republic, Eritrea, Somalia, and Zimbabwe. Each will receive between 25,000 and 50,000 tons of grain, and all transportation costs will be covered by Moscow. 

A total of 11.5 million tons of grain were exported to Africa by Russia in 2022, and it has transported almost 10 million tons to African countries in the first six months of this year.

Putin met Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Sochi, Russia in September to discuss the situation surrounding the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which expired in July. Ankara was willing to assist Russia in processing grain to send it to countries in need, Erdogan noted. He also mentioned that his intention was to collaborate in supplying food to African countries.

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