Prices are more or less 78% higher than average in 2021, and this is cracking up the production side of agriculture. In many regions, farmers simply can’t afford to bring fertilizers to the farm, or even if they could, the fertilizers are not available to them…And it’s not just fertilizers, but agrichemicals and fuel as well. This is a global crisis and it requires a global response.”
Theo de Jager, President of World Farmers Organization
“If you control oil, you control nations. If you control food, you control people.”
A major global food shortage is looming. Director-General Qu Donyu of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) presented Securing Food Security in Times of Crisis at the Meeting of the G7 Ministers of Agriculture.
The FAO’s Food Price Index in March reached 160 points – the highest since its inception in 1990!
The report notes that Russia and Ukraine are “important players in global commodity markets” particularly wheat, maize and oilseed. And this uncertainty comes on top of “already high prices driven by robust demand and high input costs as a result of COVID-19 recovery.”
A number of countries, including Turkey and Egypt, Sub-Saharan African countries like Eritrea, Somalia, Madagascar, Tanzania, Congo and Namibia, will be highly impacted by the shortfalls in wheat from Ukraine and the Russian Federation. The food crises in Yemen and Ethiopia in particular would likewise suffer a blow.
According to a recent CNBC article, a shortage of fertilizer is exacerbating the situation. Russia, together with Belarus, is responsible for 40 percent of potash exports. According to Morgan Stanley, Russia also exports 11 percent of urea, 48 percent of Ammonium nitrate and combined with Ukraine collectively exports 28 percent of fertilizers made with nitrogen and phosphorous, as well as potassium. So farmers abroad will have to make do with lesser or more expensive crops.
There is however a buzz that the world is not responding to the crisis so much as engineering it!
Take for example the rail company Union Pacific in the United States mandating that certain shippers reduce their volume of private cars effective immediately. Union Pacific is one of four major rail companies that haul 80 percent of agricultural freight. With this mandate in place in the spring, farmers would be delayed in getting fertilizer resulting in producing even less crops.
Plus, there is word of another virus – this one effecting chickens! To stop the disease from migrating to humans, farmers have culled millions of chickens while authorities state millions have died of this Avian equivalent of COVID. So higher costs and food shortages beleaguers the poultry and egg producers as well!
This week’s Global Research News Hour follows the trail of diminishing food supplies and comes to a startling end-point that could lead to the next major Malthusian drama that awaits our species!
In our first half-hour, we speak to Monika Tothova of the FAO about some of the specific developments around the new food crisis and what the world will have to do soon to mitigate a representative a worst case scenario. She is followed by Kit Knightly, a journalist who himself is probing the hypothesis of a planned food crisis and connections to the much talked about Great Reset.