The United Nations Food Agency has on Friday said that poor countries in Northern Africa, Asia and the Middle East that rely solely on the importation of wheat are on verge of suffering food insecurity as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
According to the Food Department of the UN, the invasion of Ukraine by Russia will lead to a hike in food prices which are already surging high.
Russia which is been sanctioned by different countries for its invasion of Ukraine shouldered one-third of global grain exports and as the conflict between these two countries grows more intense, the duration at which it will end can’t be predicted.
The Director-General of the Home-Based Food and Agriculture Organization Qu Dongyu while addressing the press said, “The likely disruptions to agricultural activities of these two major exporters of staple commodities could seriously escalate food insecurity globally when international food and input prices are already high and vulnerable.
Furthermore, Qu Dongyu said: “Massive population displacement has reduced the number of agricultural labourers and workers. Accessing agricultural fields would be difficult”.
The sanction on the conflicting countries only binds on Russia alone, Ukraine is still unable to make exportation trade to other countries because, its ports on the black sea are closed and Ukraine’s government has suspended the export of wheat, millet, buckwheat and others to prevent more casualties in the country and stabilize the market.
Although, Ukraine’s export ban doesn’t apply to its major global supplies of corn and sunflower oil. Ukraine and Russia alone shoulder 52% of the world’s sunflower oil export market.
Qu raises an alarm that the ongoing war between the two countries of Russia and Ukraine has made wheat inventories in Canada to be on the low count. He says “it is still unclear whether other exporters would be able to fill this gap”
Wheat producing countries like; Argentina, United State and others may likely reduce exports as governments want to ensure domestic supply, he added.
Thus, countries that depend on Russia and Ukraine on wheat importation may increase import levels. For instance, Turkey, Bangladesh, Egypt and Iran import 60% of their wheat from Russia and Ukraine. Other countries such as Lebanon, Tunisia, Yemen, Libya and Pakistan also depends on these two countries on wheat importation.
“Supply chain and logistical disruptions on Ukrainian and Russian grain and oilseed production and restrictions on Russia’s exports will have significant food security repercussions,” QU said.