| 8 December 2023, Friday |

World’s food at stake… Ukraine threatens specter of hunger

The war in Ukraine is hampering the work of planting next year’s crops of grain, especially wheat, while grain is accumulating because of transportation difficulties, due to the closure of ports in the Black Sea, which aggravates the global supply crisis and raises food prices.
According to Western reports, grain merchants resorted to trains to transport goods after Russia closed Ukrainian ports. As for the disruption of crop cultivation, the Ukrainian agricultural consultancy company attributed it to the dangers of landmines, planted by the Russians, as well as the scarcity of fuel and fertilizer.
Ukraine was currently preparing to plant spring crops; Such as barley, corn and soybeans, according to the Ukrainian Minister of Agriculture, who expected the area of ​​these crops to decrease by more than half this year, i.e. by 7 million hectares, while the crops would have covered about 15 million hectares before the outbreak of the war.
The closure of Ukrainian ports caused a rise in global crop prices, which reached its peak last month, which raised concerns about food security in the regions of the Middle East and Africa, especially since some countries in them are among the most important consumers of Ukrainian exports.
The war has choked supply chains, increased transport prices, and resorted to longer distances and transit stations during goods transport operations, which raised food prices in an unprecedented way in several Western and Middle Eastern countries.
The food price index of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations “FAO” rose by 12.6 percent between February and March, “a giant leap to a new high since it was introduced in 1990.”
Food prices also rose due to vegetable oils, whose index in the “FAO” jumped by about 23 percent, which caused a rise in oil prices, of which Ukraine is the largest exporter in the world. Unfortunately, some experts point out that famine is knocking on the doors of the world.