Food Supply Weaponized During Russia Ukraine War
Food Supply Weaponized During Russia Ukraine War
As a fifth generation rancher’s daughter, agriculture and the food supply is something I pay close attention to. Once Russia invaded Ukraine four months ago, it became very evident that the world’s food supply would be affected.
Ukraine is literally one of the largest breadbaskets in the world. Russia is one of the world’s largest producers of potash, a major ingredient in fertilizer, crop vitamins if you will.
How has this war affected the exports of Ukraine’s soybean products, corn, wheat, and sunflower oil? It’s essentially come to a screeching halt since Russia is blockading ports and those that aren’t, Ukraine isn’t willing to cross shipping lanes for fear the few Russian warships left will blow the food transports out of the water.
Russia itself, with all the sanctions, hasn’t been exporting potash because quite a few countries aren’t buying due to sanctions. Which is driving fertilizer prices sky high.
Belarus produces more than 10% of world's potash — crucial for food production— Bjorn Lomborg (@BjornLomborg) May 15, 2022
They've just announced they can't fulfill their export promises, bc of sanctions
This could drive up food prices substantiallyhttps://t.co/nyotJrQPuE pic.twitter.com/hUXYIsDUVy
Now Ukraine is claiming it is totally Russia’s fault that harvested crops are languishing in grain silos and warehouses.
Speaking with media representatives following a meeting with Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa, Zelensky said that the worldwide energy crisis would be followed by a food crisis if other countries do not aid Ukraine in unblocking its ports and resuming exports.
Food prices are already skyrocketing around the world, causing some countries to ban the exports of key agricultural commodities.
In the U.S., the annual index for consumer food prices shot up by 9.4 percent in April, reaching a 40-year high.
“There will be a crisis in the world. The second crisis after the energy one, which was provoked by Russia. Now it will create a food crisis if we do not unblock the routes for Ukraine, do not help the countries of Africa, Europe, Asia, which need these food products,” Zelensky warned.
Russia and Ukraine continuing to fight will hinder farmers in both of those countries from growing, managing, and harvesting their crops by this summer and fall. How many acres of wheat aren’t planted because of the war? We don’t know, but we’ll all find out when the harvest numbers come in, and I’m pretty certain it will be an unpleasant surprise for the world.
Quite frankly, Russia’s response to this is laughable and well, stupid.
Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, writing on the Telegram messaging app, said Russians were skilled at producing food needed throughout the world under the right circumstances.
“Everything turns out to be illogical – on the one hand, crazy sanctions are introduced while on the other hand there are demands to supply food,” wrote Medvedev, now deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council.
“Things don’t work like that. We are not idiots.”
Medvedev said producing harvests required people skilled in agriculture, as well as proper equipment and fertilizer.
“Russia knows how to do this,” he wrote. “We have all the opportunities to ensure there is food in other countries, so that there are no crises. Just don’t prevent us from working.”
I’ll admit, some of the sanctions are idiotic. Furthermore, if Russia can just wave their hands and produce food by putting trained skilled people on farms, why aren’t they? Perhaps it’s because Russia keeps sending more people to the front?
There are a lot of unknowns here. But one thing is absolutely certain. The world’s food supply is in danger BECAUSE of the Russia Ukraine war. The food supply is in danger because of Sri Lanka’s buy-in to going full organic for farming and having the majority of their crops fail. The food supply is in danger because politicians are in charge and have ZERO clue as to what it takes to grow crops or raise animals for food.
The World Bank is saying both our food supply and energy are going to skyrocket over the next three years at least if the war continues. Some have a solution to the food supply and growing of crops problem. Manure!
Biden official Samantha Power celebrates fertilizer shortages that will force farmers to “hasten transitions” to “natural solutions, like manure and compost.”— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) May 1, 2022
“Never let a crisis go to waste." pic.twitter.com/rZ5uMy0K5U
It’s obvious the woman has never been around a farm or ranch in her life! First, cow s**t is only used to ready the fields before planting or, in the case of the hay fields, starting irrigation. Secondly, fertilizer (of which Potash is a significant ingredient), is as I mentioned above, vitamins for the crops!
All that aside, magically coming up with tons of manure in order to grow one’s crops is a stupid solution to a very serious problem.
If you thought the lockdowns and supply chain disruptions were bad during Covid…it’s estimated that nearly TWO BILLION people could be negatively impacted by the food supply shortages.
As of Sunday, U.S. #corn was 49% planted, #soybeans 30% and spring #wheat 39%. Corn and spring wheat are well behind averages. Winter wheat conditions dropped to 27% good/exc, though the trade expected a slight improvement. pic.twitter.com/OBiq56QObE— Karen Braun (@kannbwx) May 16, 2022
Ukraine and Russia can point fingers all they want, but the longer this goes on, it is my firm opinion that BOTH countries should be blamed for the hit to the world’s food supply.
Feature Photo Credit: Harvester wheat field via Pixabay, cropped and modified