Last Updated on May 24, 2022
The world is down to just 10 weeks of wheat supplies remaining in storage, a food security analyst has warned. India recently voted to ban weak exports, further straining global supplies that were already dwindling as the conflict in Ukraine drags on.
Sara Menker, who serves as CEO of the agriculture analytics firm Gro Intelligence, told the United Nations Security Council on May 19 that the Russia–Ukraine war “simply added fuel to a fire that was long burning.” Russia and Ukraine account for about 1/3 of the world’s wheat production, though Menker says the crisis was brewing before the war started.
“I want to start by explicitly saying that the Russia–Ukraine war did not start the food security crisis. It simply added fuel to a fire that was long burning. A crisis we detected tremors from long before the COVID 19 pandemic exposed the fragility of our supply chains,” Menker said.
“I share this because we believe it’s important for you all to understand that even if the war were to end tomorrow, our food security problem isn’t going away anytime soon without concerted action.”
Menker says that rising food costs has made an additional 400 million people “food insecure” in 2022. She went on to say that wheat supplies have dwindled to the point where the world only has about 10 weeks of global consumption currently in storage.
“Conditions today are worse than those experienced in 2007 and 2008,” Menker said. “It is important to note that the lowest grain inventory levels the world has ever seen are now occurring while access to fertilizers is highly constrained, and drought in wheat-growing regions around the world is the most extreme it’s been in over 20 years. Similar inventory concerns also apply to corn and other grains. Government estimates are not adding up.”
David Beasley, who serves as executive director of the World Food Program, said the world is now facing “an unprecedented crisis,” noting that 49 million people in 43 nations are “knocking on famine’s door”, according to The Epoch Times.
“We are already seeing riots and protesting taking place as we speak—Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Pakistan, Peru,” Beasley said. “We’ve seen destabilizing dynamics already in the Sahel from Burkina Faso, Mali, Chad. These are only signs of things to come.”