Connect with Point of View   to get exclusive commentary and updates

Food Crisis

Farmer's hands holding wheat seed in field at sunset
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
never miss viewpointsKerby Anderson

As the threat from a global pandemic is beginning to subside in many parts of the world, the specter of a global food crisis seems likely. A major reason is the war in Ukraine.

For example, 25 percent of all the wheat exports in the world come from Ukraine and Russia. About 20 percent of all the corn exports in the world come from there. Most of the sunflower oil comes from that region, along with significant amounts of potash used for fertilizer.

Wheat that was in the fields has been stolen by Russian soldiers. But even if there was enough wheat left, there is hardly anything making its way out of the country. The two major ports (Mariupol and Odessa) are closed. And there are hundreds of anti-ship mines floating in the Black Sea, making it nearly impossible for cargo ships to make it to a port in the region.

Any possibility that other countries might pick up the difference seems unlikely. Some had hoped that India could increase wheat production, but that hope faded because of the intense heat wave hitting the country and reducing crop yields. Restrictions on wheat exports seem likely. And other countries are also talking about export restrictions because of their concerns about a possible global food crisis.

Meanwhile, the fertilizer shortage has become a topic of concern. Reduced crop yields are likely, and more than one commentator has talked about how manure has become a hot commodity. International agencies are now talking about natural solutions like manure and compost.

The human cost of a global food crisis (malnutrition, starvation) is but one concern. Another is the inevitable political unrest that follows food shortages. Remember that the trigger of the Arab Spring was rising grain prices and food shortages.

This is a time for American agriculture and the American government to step up and address a looming global food crisis.viewpoints new web version

Viewpoints sign-up