According to the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization, the global spending on food imports is expected to reach a record high of $1.94 trillion this year, roughly a jump of 10 percent compared to the previous year. According to the United Nations, the blame for this large increase lies in the depreciating values of other currencies against the United States dollar, as it is the main currency of exchange in international markets, as well as the continuing war in Ukraine, as both Russia and Ukraine are massive agricultural exporters to countries around the world.
While richer states will feel the pinch, due to their higher levels of wealth their citizens will be in relatively better shape as compared to low-income states. Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to be hit particularly hard, as the report predicts that countries there will spend an additional $4.8 billion on these affected food products, despite a general contraction in the available volumes of food able to be imported. On the ground this will likely contribute to greater food insecurity and suffering amongst the poorest segments of these populations. Another area of concern is the hike in prices for fertilizers, which are expected to see roughly a 50% increase as compared to $424 billion this year, which might well lead to countries relying on these products to cut their imports, thus producing less crops for the coming year. This will likely only further exacerbate food security issues for the people in these countries.
There is some hope, however. The fact the grain deal corridor between Russian and Ukrainian forces has been able to continue will allow more products to reach these affected markets, and that richer countries might well step up food or financial aid in the months ahead. That being said, the rising concerns surrounding food security issues in developing states will be on the radar of many going forward.