As ships filled with Ukrainian grain leave Odesa ports for the first time in five months, the Ukrainian ag sector is cautiously optimistic that trade will save farmers, and the United Nations is hoping to see food prices drop for the neediest countries.
Higher prices for animal fats and vegetable oils are helping drive what is expected to be a record global food import bill this year, forcing consumers to spend more and get less to eat, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization said Thursday.
The war in Ukraine has laid bare the fact that agriculture is the key to national security. It’s a lesson that world leaders are taking to heart as they scramble to lessen global reliance on key sources of food and fertilizer, but it’s unclear if it will be too late to stop the slide from food crises to famine in some of the poorest and least developed countries.
Ag ministers for the Group of Seven nations this weekend pledged action to counter the rising cost and scarcity of fertilizer, said U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who was at the meeting in Germany.
Amid growing concerns about the impact of the war in Ukraine, the G7 ag ministers have joined the UN Food and Agriculture Organization in urging countries not to protect their own food supplies by restricting exports.