A perfect storm is brewing and threatening the world’s supply chain of food and fertilizers that will result in more starvation in 2023. War tactics by Russia on food shipments, Russia’s self-imposed ban on fertilizer exports, new climate change regulations, and weather conditions have created a lack of supply and supply chain bandwidth that will affect millions.
Russia Starvation of Ukraine
Before the war, Russia was the biggest exporter of fertilizer. The New York Times reports U.S. officials saying that the Russian military has deliberately targeted grain storage facilities in Ukraine and is destroying wheat processing plants. Russia has purposefully slowed grain shipments by reducing the number of ports in Ukraine for export. They have also slowed inspections of those shipments. In addition, Russia has stopped sales of fertilizers needed by farmers. This will greatly impact future harvests across the world.
Recent climate change regulations have also impacted food and fertilizer supplies. In Captain, a website dedicated to Maritime news, John Konrad reports, “UN climate deal could starve millions.”
News from the Shipping Industry
New rules in the shipping industry involving the environmental social and corporate governance (ESG) index are aimed at decarbonizing the shipping industry. Many ship owners must slow ships down to reduce emissions to meet the new guidelines. In doing so shipments of all goods, including food and fertilizers, will reduce. This will put even more pressure on the cost and supply of food.
Finally, weather and other world events, such as drought in Africa, low water levels on the Mississippi River, energy inflation, and other factors have tightened supplies of food.
How Can We Slow Starvation?
This perfect storm has resulted in a terrible forecast for food security and the extreme poor in 2023.
What can we do? These events are overwhelming and out of our control, but we can do two things immediately to help those suffering.
- Give to projects that help the poor grow their own food and become more self-reliant.
- Pray for peace in Ukraine and government action to avert the supply chain challenges.