Russia is exporting more grain at higher prices than ever before while suppressing Ukrainian shipments, said Secretary of State Antony Blinken at a UN Security Council meeting on Thursday. “Every member of this council, every member of the United Nations should tell Moscow: Enough using the Black Sea as blackmail, enough treating the world’s most vulnerable people as leverage.”
The “very difficult” politics of SNAP are among the greatest obstacles to passing the new farm bill, said Senate Agriculture Committee chair Debbie Stabenow on Wednesday. The Michigan Democrat is a stalwart defender of public nutrition programs in a year when House Republicans want to apply a 90-day limit on food stamps to a greater number of recipients.
After steep increases due to the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, the global hunger total of as many as 783 million people is relatively stable and the goal of ending hunger by the end of the decade will be increasingly difficult to reach, said the annual United Nations report on world hunger.
Russia's invasion of Ukraine has had a devastating impact on global food security, said Group of 7 agriculture ministers on Sunday in a communique that called for expansion of Ukrainian grain shipments via a the Black Sea Grain corridor that is exempt from attack.
The 2023 farm bill should reverse the international trend toward cash donations for hunger relief, said the North American Millers Association on Thursday. In a three-page list of farm bill priorities, NAMA said it supports putting “the food back into food aid” programs.
Low producer prices and high input costs will discourage grain production in Ukraine this year, said an IFPRI blog, as the Russian invasion of its neighbor hit the one-year mark. “Reduced plantings in Ukraine mean that the world will need to produce additional grains and oilseeds to help rebuild stocks and moderate price levels,” wrote IFPRI senior research fellow Joe Glauber on Thursday.
By disrupting food production, climate change threatens “death from starvation on a scale that no living human today has ever witnessed,” said the head of an anti-hunger foundation during a panel discussion of malnutrition on Wednesday.
The global demand for food is rising at the same time that climate change is affecting agricultural production, especially in developing nations, said a new report that calls for increased funding of agricultural research and extension programs to boost productivity on smallholder farms.
Agricultural automation, ranging from tractors to sensors, drones, and artificial intelligence, can play an important role in making food production more efficient and environmentally friendly, said the annual State of Food and Agriculture report on Wednesday.
With world hunger rates rising, President Biden announced Wednesday at the United Nations an additional $2.9 billion in U.S. humanitarian assistance, including funds to feed schoolchildren and expand food production. We’re “taking on the food crisis head-on,” said Biden in a speech that denounced Russia for invading Ukraine and called for action on global warming.
Nearly one in 10 people worldwide suffer from hunger, an increase of 150 million since the pandemic struck in 2020, and the numbers are sure to worsen, said the annual UN hunger report on Wednesday. “The global price spikes that we are seeing as a result of the crisis in Ukraine threaten to push countries around the world into famine,” said the leader of the World Food Program.
Despite the experience of food price spikes a decade ago, nations are compounding the disruptions of warfare in the Black Sea region by hoarding their domestic supplies, said the global research group CGIAR.
Jeff O’Connor gave President Biden a firsthand introduction to double-cropping on his 800-acre Illinois farm on Wednesday and agreed with the president that America can help fill the gap in global food supplies created by the war in Ukraine. “We have the ability to raise two crops in one growing season while simultaneously providing conservation benefits,” said O’Connor. “The farming community stands ready to maximize production, which we do so well, in this time of world need.”
President Biden will announce three steps to encourage American farmers “to boost production, lower food prices, and feed the world” during a visit to a family farm in northern Illinois on Wednesday afternoon, said the White House. Action by the USDA would be a response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and to high inflation at home.
Around 193 million people in 53 countries and territories experienced acute food insecurity at crisis or worse levels in 2021, an increase of 40 million from the previous year. “The situation is expected to worsen in 2022,” said a report by the Global Network Against Food Crises on Wednesday.
The Biden administration said it would put $500 million into farm supports, boosting U.S. wheat production by up to 18 percent and expanding production of food grains and edible oils in an effort to fill the gap created by warfare in Ukraine.“ This funding is going to help ease rising food prices at home as well as abroad caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine,” said President Biden on Thursday.
Six countries in Africa and the Middle East will receive $670 million in additional food aid to mitigate severe food insecurity, said the Biden administration on Wednesday. The assistance will mean the complete drawdown of a USDA emergency fund for the purchase of U.S. commodities for donation to hunger programs overseas.
The world should create a fund of up to $25 billion to help poor nations deal with the surge in food prices caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, said the head of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization on Wednesday. The FAO estimates that an additional 13 million people will face hunger in the near term because of warfare in the Black Sea region, ordinarily a major source of wheat and corn on the world market.