FAO DG Tackles Food Security Impact of Russia-Ukraine Conflict, Presents Policy RecommendationsMarch 16, 2022
The past two years of the COVID-19 pandemic have presented several concerns on global food security, and the Russia-Ukraine conflict further adds a significant impact on the world's food supply. Qu Dongyu, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), presented the current scenario and gave policy recommendations in an opinion article.
Qu discussed that Russia and Ukraine both play significant roles in global food production and supply. Russia is the largest exporter of wheat worldwide, while Ukraine is the fifth largest. Putting their combined outputs, the two countries provide 19% of the global barley supply, 14% of wheat, and 4% of maize, which comprise over one-third of global cereal exports. Russia is also the lead producer of fertilizer globally.
“The conflict's intensity and duration remain uncertain. 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 volatile,” Qu stressed.
Policy recommendations were also presented in the article, which include:
- Keep global food and fertilizer trade open.
- Find new and more diverse food suppliers.
- Support vulnerable groups, including internally displaced people.
- Avoid ad hoc policy reactions.
- Strengthen market transparency and dialogue.
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