Coming Food Shortages
How war in Ukraine conflict is creating a global humanitarian crisis
The world is facing a potential food crisis because of the Russo-Ukraine conflict. As I discussed before, the impact of this conflict is global and long-term. A few of us geopolitical commentators have examined the potentially lasting effects on global commodities. Africa will especially feel the impact of this war, where food imports are critical.
French President Emmanuel Macron gave a timeline earlier mid, last week that he expects Africa to face a “deep food crisis in 12-18 months.”
I don’t know where the timeframe comes from, but the crisis may occur sooner, judging from US production and Chinese food purchases in the first half of 2022. The population of Africa continues to explode. The world is also facing a rapidly approaching fertilizer shortage because of the war in Ukraine. These knock-on effects cause a perfect storm of a rapid decline in available food and the ability to produce more food.
Battle Beagle @HarmlessYardDog@SubZeroGold Expect food riots in poorer regions of the world in 2022.
Looking at the chart above, substantial portions of African food imports come from Russia and Ukraine. Devastation from the war and sanctions will cause difficulty filling the gap in the second half of 2022. It’s essential to take notice of the countries at the bottom of the chart, particularly Egypt.
See graphs in these links here:
Egypt is a country whose government’s stability depends substantially on inexpensive bread. Despite promises of increasing domestic planting of wheat, increasing production substantially is difficult for Egypt. The problem is exacerbated by the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam filling that threatens the Nile River zone's food production. This situation can create a perfect storm where the Egyptian government faces food shortages and a disagreeable Ethiopian government. Pundits toss the word instability around a lot; however, this is an actual example of a severe crisis, especially when coupled with other upheavals in the Middle East and Africa.
Currently, India is rising to the occasion and is in final talks with Egypt to start exporting wheat. India is displaying its ability to act like a major power, having raised its relative share of world wheat exports from 0.14% to 0.54% in 2020. India’s total wheat production constitutes around 14.0% of the world’s total wheat production; however, most of that wheat is consumed domestically. It is not likely that India can substantially replace the disrupted wheat imports of these African nations.
The imports do not substantially impact the pending fertilizer and water shortages in a country like Egypt. In my understanding, some of the first Russian sanctions that will be lifted or circumvented will be on gas exports (if they were ever enforceable), given the impending food crisis.
Egypt’s case is particularly exacerbated, but similar situations exist across Africa. Compounding this are regional, transnational crime and terrorism, and the machinations of the Great Powers as they contend for power in that continent. The fallout from the Russo-Ukraine war will exaggerate and accelerate the diplomatic, economic, and intelligence fight between the United States, Russia, and China. Here, we will also see a situation where Russia and China will be unwilling friends in Africa. Russia wants (needs?) commodity prices to be as high as possible and benefit from instability to boost the value of their exports, which African nations export. China is in search of cheap commodities to import and the ability to expand overseas production, especially some manufacturing and agricultural products in the long term. China seeks to shift its economy to a more technological and service-oriented one to compete with the United States and the United Kingdom.
Adam Kinzinger @AdamKinzingerJust noticed your recent obsession with me. Well as you are aware, I’m in the military. Unfortunately that takes an order to deploy. Surprisingly military members can’t deploy themselves. So I’m happy to go. That isn’t my choice my man. Lord these people https://t.co/7pMeklBJw1
To emphasize a point, expanding the conflict from a regional one to a global war will kill millions of people because of food shortages from even more exporters facing disruptions. Do not let people like Adam Kinzinger gaslight you into believing there are zero consequences from starting a NATO-Russia war. World War 3 is a bad policy choice.