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Global food crisis is at hand: Countries are turning to defensive policies

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The supply chains, which were shaken by the Russian occupation of Ukraine and the climate crisis, triggered famine and hunger in various parts of the world. The blockade by the Moscow troops on the Black Sea ports of Ukraine, which has a 12 percent share in the world’s wheat export, upset the international trade stability. United Nations (UN) Secretary General Antonio Guterres stated that around 20 million tons of grain in Ukraine could not be taken out of the country. According to the data of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), food prices increased by 30 percent compared to the previous year and reached the highest level in March.


The FAO also calculated that the grain crisis posed a risk of starvation to more than 12 million people. Research shows that more than 50 countries meet at least 30 percent of their wheat requirements from Russia and Ukraine. 24 of the countries in question are in Africa.


Wheat prices have increased by over 45 percent since the beginning of the war. In this context, the African Development Bank approved a food production loan of 1.5 billion dollars in the continent, which has 30 million tons of food shipment problems.

On the other hand, India, the world’s second largest wheat producer, suspended all wheat exports, pointing out that there may be a famine in the country due to the hottest months of the last 121 years. In addition, Egypt banned the export of basic food items such as wheat, flour, lentils and beans in March, as power prices increased food production costs. Indonesia also cut off its palm oil exports, of which it accounts for 60 percent of the world’s production.


At the World Economic Forum, which started in Davos the previous day, Ukrainian State Leader Volodymyr Zelenski made evaluations about the grain crisis. The Kremlin pointed to the West as responsible for the food crisis. The president of Ukraine said that they can export 22 tons of grain artifacts that they harvested but remain in the country via ships from the Baltic Sea via neighboring countries. Zelenski added that he is in contact with several states to deliver the export corridor. On the other hand, Russia blamed the sanctions on them by the West due to the grain crisis. The Kremlin argued that Ukraine could not trade ships because it had mines in the Black Sea.

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