War will lead to global food shortages and a rise in food grain prices !

  • Global fertiliser manufacturing company Yara International concerned
  • Crisis of food grain scarcity looming over Europe and Africa

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Kyiv (Ukraine) – Russia-Ukraine war could lead to global food shortages and rise in food grain prices, fears Yara International, a global compost manufacturing company. Svein Tore Holsether, the head of the establishment, which operates in more than 60 countries, told the BBC. On the other hand, the Associated Press, an international media house, reports that the war is affecting countries in Europe and Africa, where the crisis of food shortages is looming.

Russia and Ukraine’s global importance in the field of food grain production !

  • Russia and Ukraine play an important role in producing food and other agricultural products globally.
  • The Black Sea region of Ukraine is fertile and is known as the world’s ‘breadbasket’ (means of livelihood).
  • Russia and Ukraine are major exporters of wheat and millet.
  • These two countries account for about one-third of the world’s wheat and millet exports.
  • Both countries collectively account for 75% of the world’s total sunflower oil exports.
  • Ukraine is also a major supplier of maize.
  • Russia produces in large quantities the various ingredients required for fertiliser.
  • Half of the world’s population consumes food produced with the help of fertiliser. If fertiliser production is affected, 50% of food production will be directly affected, said Holsether, head of Yara International.

The situation is getting worse every hour ! – Yara International

Holsether, Head of Yara International

Holsether said,

1. The situation is getting worse every hour. In the Northern Hemisphere, the current season is critical for grain production and requires a large amount of fertiliser; but now with the impending war, the situation is getting worse.

2. About 25% of Europe’s food production depends on Russian raw materials. Therefore, the world as a whole should not depend on Russia for food production.

3. The coronavirus pandemic and the preceding period already had many crises on food production. At the time, the Russia-Ukraine war is becoming a crisis upon crisis.

4. There are fears of food insecurity in poor countries.

5. Already in the last two years, more than 10 crore people worldwide are sleeping hungry. So, the current war is more worrisome.

What is the actual situation ?

Due to Russia’s invasion, farmers in Ukraine have fled the country and taken refuge in neighbouring countries. As a result, worldwide exports of wheat and other foodstuffs have stopped. At the same time, Western sanctions on Russia have led to a reduction in global grain exports and a shortage.

African countries imported $4 billion (₹30,853 crore) worth of agricultural products from Russia in 2020. According to Wandile Sihlobo, Chief Economist at South Africa’s Chamber of Agricultural Industries, about 90% of these imports contained wheat.

Wheat prices rose by 55%

Wheat prices have risen by 55% in the past week due to fears of an invasion of Ukraine. If the war continues, countries dependent on cheap wheat exports from Ukraine could face shortages from July, said Arnaud Petit, Director of the International Grains Council, speaking to the Associated Press.

The suspension of wheat and maize supplies from Ukraine is likely to raise serious food security concerns. Poverty is feared to rise in countries such as Egypt and Lebanon because people in these countries depend on subsidised food from their Governments.

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