The United Nations Food Agency says international food and feed prices could jump by as much as 20 percent because of the war in Ukraine. The Food and Agriculture Organization says that would trigger a jump in global malnourishment.
The agency says it’s not a sure thing that Ukraine will be able to harvest any crops if the war drags on, which would also impact the prospects for Russian exports this year. Russia and Ukraine combine to provide 19 percent of the world’s barley supply, 14 percent of the wheat, and four percent of the maize, which Reuters says makes up more than one-third of the global cereal exports. Russia is also a world leader in fertilizer exports.
FAO’s Director-General says, “The likely disruptions to agricultural activities of these two major exporters of staple commodities could seriously escalate food insecurity globally.” The food price index already hit a record high in February.