May 09, 2022

Russia's war on Ukraine could cause global food shortage

Posted May 09, 2022 6:30 PM
File photo
File photo


St. Joseph Post

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has had wide-ranging impacts on the world as a whole and now threatens global food security.

Missouri U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt says the full impact of the war on food supply is just now beginning to emerge.

“There’s a growing awareness of how much impact this could have, not just in Ukraine or in Europe, but in Africa,” Bond says in an interview with KFEQ. “Ukraine and Russia combined produce about 25% of all the wheat exports in the world.”

Ukraine produces a large portion of the food stuffs for Europe and Africa. In addition to wheat, Ukraine produces more than 20% of the world’s corn. It produces nearly all the sunflower oil. Blunt says Europe and Africa are facing possible food shortages due to the war in Ukraine. Blunt says Africa relies on the raw grain coming out of Ukraine to produce its food.

Russia’s war on Ukraine has kept Ukrainian farmers out of the field and has blocked the export of crops in the grain bins. Also, farm supplies on which the United States relies have been held up by the war.

“So much of the fertilizer that comes out of Russia, and some of it comes out of Ukraine, and we’re not seeing that as well,” Blunt says. “Even before this happened, nitrogen was up by 175%. Now it’s 200% higher than it was a year ago.”

Blunt says that has had a real impact here, driving up agricultural input costs, such as diesel prices.

“You take fuel prices and add to that fertilizer prices and then have parts of the world that have been served by somebody else suddenly desperately needing food and we’re truly trying it figure out what to do both in the United States as we think about that and what to do right now in Ukraine to figure out how to get the food out of there that’s currently there.”

KFEQ Agriculture Director Dionne Bertling contributed to this article.