African and Asian countries are looking down the barrel of extreme food shortages as the war in Ukraine continues to rage across the nation.
In total, Ukraine and Russia produce a combined total of about 12% of the calories for the world, along with almost 30% of the wheat that is traded globally. The United Nations warned back in March that the ability of Ukraine to “harvest crops, plant new ones or sustain livestock production” was in peril because of the then imminent Russian invasion.
With this, Many African nations such as Ethiopia and Kenya, which have been heavily struggling with extreme drought conditions and livestock deaths in relation to that, are facing stacking food shortages throughout the current global price hike for basic foodstuffs.
“The cost of grain, fuel and fertilizer has skyrocketed worldwide, worsening hunger crises,” stated a report from ABC News, going on to add that “many countries in East Africa rely on Russia and Ukraine for a significant percentage of these agricultural commodities.” The United Nations’ World Food Programme’s local food basket has also seen a skyrocketing price level of over 23% throughout the past year.
Looking past food, Russia itself is responsible for almost 11% of the total oil supply for the world. As a result, Quite a bit of the world has experienced a spike in fuel prices in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
These extravagant fuel costs are adding additional strain to an already tired agriculture sector across many South Asian nations such as Sri Lanka, in which many farmers have been struggling because of an outright ban on the chemical fertilizing of crops.
“It’s planting time here, coinciding with the arrival of seasonal rains that will fill the paddies, but… Only a handful of the plots have been planted with the pale green seedlings, the rest carry the wispy remnants of last season’s crop gone to seed, or are empty, save for a soupy brown slop,” stated a report from Sky News. “As a result they can’t afford, or sometimes even find, the diesel or kerosene required for tractors and rotavators to turn the soil.”
One farmer, Farmer Ravindra Wickramrathana, stated to the news source that the ban is forcing farmers to only work at getting a harvest of only 25% of their standard former yield. “I can’t even think about the future, the price of everything is increasing, labour costs have gone up,” he stated in explanation. “If we can’t cover our costs how can we continue farming? We don’t know how to do anything else.”
Additionally in the United States, lawmakers are trying to push through a $40 billion assistance fund for the military in Ukraine to assist in throwing back the Russian invaders. President Joe Biden stated that all of the previous relief packages sent have already been used up.
“This aid has been critical to Ukraine’s success on the battlefield. We cannot allow our shipments of assistance to stop while we await further Congressional action,” stated the president. “I am pleased that, in my conversations with Congressional leaders, there appears to be strong support for the proposal I submitted, and Congress is likely to pass it in substantially the form I proposed. I urge them to do so, and again, I urge them to do so quickly.”