The world is heading for a “catastrophic” global food crisis as a result of the war in Ukraine, which will cause “hell on earth” for food prices, according to experts.
“Half the world’s population gets food as a result of fertilisers… and if that’s removed from the field for some crops, [the yield] will drop by 50%,” Svein Tore Holsether, head of agri company Yara International, told the BBC.
Known as “the breadbasket of Europe,” Russia and Ukraine export around a quarter of the world’s wheat and half of its sunflower products, such as seeds and oil.
“For me, it’s not whether we are moving into a global food crisis – it’s how large the crisis will be,” said Holsether, noting that increasing gas prices were causing a steep rise in the cost of fertiliser.
David Beasley, the head of the World Food Programme, was if anything even more pessimistic with his comments.
“Just when you think hell on earth can’t get any worse, it does,” he said.
The bullets and bombs in #Ukraine could take the global hunger crisis to catastrophic levels. Supply chains and food prices will be dramatically impacted. @WFP‘s operational costs alone will rise by $60-75 million per month.
Simply put, higher costs = less food and more hunger. pic.twitter.com/XBHmPFKpAb
— David Beasley (@WFPChief) March 8, 2022