Global Food Crises is the last thing needed by the turmoil world. The war between Russia and Ukraine shocked the global markets. The war has pushed up oil, gas, and electricity prices. But the damage of this war is not limited to the extreme rise in energy prices but is now having an impact on global food prices.
The United Nations warned in March 2022 that food prices were likely to rise by up to 20 percent. That would increase prices to a level never seen before. In some areas, food inflation has already begun.
The Revelations by the International Agencies
The war between Russia and Ukraine has not only resulted in rising food prices but has also caused many other problems. But the decline in food production, food shortages, and rising food prices is a very dangerous trend.
The Food and Agriculture Organization produces a report each year called the Food Price Index. Within this index, the increase or decrease in the prices of food items is recorded. According to this index, March 2022 has broken all previous records of inflation. The March 2022 index is the highest ever recorded since the Food Price Index was created in 1990. The index rose to 159.3 in March 2022 from 140.7 in February 2022. According to senior FAO economist, Josef Schmidhuber, these are the second-highest month-to-month price increase ever recorded.
The Factors Causing Agents
Now the question arises that since the war is going on between Russia and Ukraine, then its destructive effects should also be limited within these two counties. So then why is there a spillover effect and fear of food shortages all over the world? Why are food prices rising?
Global Food Crises are the result of the Sanctions?
To answer this question, the first reason is that Russia and Ukraine are two of the world’s largest exporters of staple food products. These two countries export over 30 percent wheat, 17 percent corn, more than half of the sunflower seeds and oil, and many other similar products worldwide. Thus, the world is heavily dependent on them for such imports. As a result of this war, the United States and its allies have imposed sanctions on Russia, which has led to the complete closure of Russia’s exports. The food supply is suddenly trapped, and there are massive food supply chain disruptions and bottlenecks in the black sea. This is one of the major reasons why this global crisis is emerging.
Negative Agricultural Growth
Similarly, due to the war, farmers in Ukraine are unable to cultivate, which has led to a decline in crop yields. At the same time, fertilizers are not available to the farmers and even if they are available, they are getting quite expensive. Due to this, it has become very difficult to cultivate and then sell these crops at cheaper prices.
The policy of Food Protectionism in the aftermath of Global Food Crises
The third reason is that other countries are adopting a policy of protectionism. Nations, across the globe, are making sure that the agricultural products of their own country should remain in their countries to meet the demands of locals. As a result, countries are banning the exports of food products to other countries. This is not a good sign for globalism and would adversely affect the efforts to combat global hunger.
Countries to be affected from Global Food Crises?
Which countries will suffer the most from this global food crisis? The richest countries like the USA, Europe, Australia, etc. will have higher food prices but they will have food stock to feed the people. However, the poorest countries, namely Pakistan, India, and other countries in Asia and Africa, will not even have enough to feed their people. They will really run out of food and people may start starving.
What can be done to mitigate this crisis?
In Pakistan Imran Khan has already done his homework to mitigate the negative impact of this crisis. He visited Russia and secured the availability of wheat at 30% fewer prices. However, the US and their handlers removed him from office, and with that, all hopes of Pakistan vanished into thin air.
Avoiding this crisis is becoming increasingly difficult, but the international community can take some steps to reduce its impacts.
First of all, trade should be open to all countries and there should be no limitations or restrictions of any sort. Because whenever there is a world crisis, the closure of trade causes equal loss to all countries.
Second, many countries are pursuing protectionist policies, including Hungary, Serbia, Indonesia, and Turkey. All these countries have to abandon the policy of protectionism at least in the area of food.
Third, the war is on-going between Russia and Ukraine, and more avenues for farming should be explored elsewhere. Now the international community needs to identify such areas, support local farmers, and increase production.
Fourthly, poor farmers across the globe and especially in Pakistan, India and other African countries should be provided fertilizer and other necessary infrastructure to support their cultivation efforts. This will ensure steady and increased food production.
Fifth, all countries should cooperate with each other and establish information-sharing mechanisms so that the global community shall be able to predict when, where and what is needed. With this in mind, the National Stock Pile can be strategically used to alleviate this crisis.
And last but not least, a good food supply chain system should be put in place to reduce the shortage and wastage of food items. Also, financial assistance should also be provided to enforce these steps at war footing.
This year, 2022, heatwaves and war are causing food crises. The international community must take a stand to end all types of violence.