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Food shortages caused by Ukraine war: "I would grow wheat now"

The Ukraine war has had a significant impact on the global economy. Soon there could be a shortage of wheat. An expert makes suggestions to avoid this.

Kassel – Since the start of the Ukraine war, there has been much discussion about Germany’s dependence on energy from Russia. But another problem is already looming: the war and the sanctions could have fatal consequences for the global supply of wheat*. An expert in the field is therefore now calling on farmers around the world to expand the cultivation of the grain.

Just recently, UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned of a global “hurricane of hunger” because of the Ukraine conflict*. More than half of the World Food Program’s wheat shipments come from Ukraine. Underdeveloped countries like Egypt, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen get at least a third of their wheat reserves from Russia or Ukraine, where millions of people are already starving. While Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine, only recently called on his country’s farmers to sow, elsewhere they are already looking for a substitute for the wheat from the East.

Ein palästinischer Verkäufer lädt Säcke mit Mehl auf einen Wagen.

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Developing countries like Palestine are particularly dependent on wheat from Russia and Ukraine. The war threatens the global food supply.

Wheat shortage due to the Ukraine war: experts call for a reduction in biofuel production

Hansjörg Küster, professor of plant ecology at the Leibniz University in Hanover and landscape scientist, calls for an expansion of wheat cultivation worldwide. “If I speculated correctly as a farmer, I would plant wheat right now,” said Küster in an interview with capital.de. This applies to all places where sowing is now pending. In addition to Europe, Canada and the USA, the countries in Scandinavia and the western part of Eurasia are also in demand. In order to maintain the global supply of wheat, we have to do without other things, says Küster.

For example, a global food supply would be much easier if humanity reduced its meat consumption. “You can produce three times as much food with a grain-based diet alone as with a meat-based diet,” said the landscape scientist in the Capital interview. In addition, Küster called for the production of biofuels to be reduced in order to free up the land for wheat. The discussion about this is already in full swing.

Dispute over wheat and biofuel: How the Ukraine war is affecting Germany

The German Environmental Aid recently called on the federal government to suspend state subsidies for biofuels. The German Farmers’ Association reacted to this by describing the demand to the Taz as “completely exaggerated”. According to the farmer representative, the use of grain for biofuels can be considered moderate at around 900,000 tons from a grain harvest of around 45 million tons. At a meeting in Brussels, the EU agriculture ministers want to discuss this topic, among other things.

The Ukraine war is already having an impact on energy prices in Germany. Who is entitled to the one-off heating cost subsidy for 2022? (vbu/afp/dpa) *fr.de is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA.

Rubriklistenbild: © Ahmed Zakot / imago

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