They warn that the consequences of the Ukraine conflict on agriculture will be prolonged

They warn that the consequences of the Ukraine conflict on agriculture will be prolonged

They warn that the consequences of the Ukraine conflict on agriculture will be prolonged

According to FAO Chief Economist Maximo Torrero, countries should refrain from taking measures that harm exports.

Maximo Torrero, FAO Economist
Maximo Torrero, FAO Economist

The consequences of the Ukraine war on world food security and production systems will not be short-lived and Countries should refrain from taking measures that further damage the complex global scenario.

This concept was expressed by FAO Chief Economist Maximo Torrero at LA NACION, via Buenos Aires, after participating in the 37th event. The United Nations Regional Conference of the United Nations, recently held in Quito, Ecuador.

“We must avoid any restrictions on the export of products, as this will worsen the critical scenario.Said Torrero, recalling that Russia, the country that started the conflict, is a leading exporter of fertilizers.

For the FAO specialist, countries should assume that fertilizer supply problems will continue for a long time to come. And he believed that financial support initiatives should be encouraged to overcome the difficulties of accessing these stocks. In addition, he noted that countries should adopt a coordinated policy to avoid problems with fertilizers because problems “They will stay next year”He warned.

At the same time, Torrero argued that this complexity should be used as an opportunity to achieve higher production efficiency. “In the case of fertilizers, using soil maps to apply the right doses helps to achieve greater efficiency.”– Said the specialist.

Regarding global food security issues, the FAO economist of Peruvian origin stressed that the organization to which he belongs is closely monitoring the evolution of the armed conflict. He argued that grain supplies from Ukraine and Russia, although not completely extinct, were particularly critical for a group of net food-importing countries, particularly in North Africa and South Asia. “It is necessary to maintain social assistance by expanding programs for vulnerable areas, which are currently in a food crisis and which will have greater consequences.Said.

Torrero noted that the problem for purely food-importing countries is not only due to rising prices for grains such as wheat, but also to the revaluation of the dollar, which is making the exchange rate more expensive in these markets. ““Before the war, the food price index was higher in nominal terms than in 2011, but was actually lower due to the impact of inflation.” He explained and recalled that at the beginning of the war both Russia and Ukraine had about 24 million tons left over for the export of wheat and corn. He also highlighted the difficulties in the oil market, especially in the sunflower market, in which the conflicting countries have 52% of world trade.

Torero stressed that the Ukraine war had exacerbated the critical state of global food security, which had changed with the proliferation of Covid-19. “Because of the pandemic, 161 million people have fallen into poverty and 91 million are at risk of chronic malnutrition,” he said. “The current crisis is complicating the process,” he added.

In order to encourage change in production systems in response to criticism from UN experts, regardless of the contribution of technology, Torrero responded that the UN does not object to these forms of production. “We talked about how to produce more with less resources“, Held. Nevertheless, he believed that change should be promoted because, in addition to the problems of malnutrition and hunger, the world is facing an obesity crisis due to malnutrition. “It tells us we have to do something,” he said.

Argentina, along with Brazil and the rest of the United States, has taken the lead in respecting production routes in the region using state-of-the-art technologies such as fertilizers and phytosanitary products, in contrast to the Union’s claims. Which sought to equate UN policy with a green deal promoted by the regional bloc. However, due to the war in Ukraine, this initiative of the European Union was suspended.

Source: La Nacion