Brussels Refuses to End Insane Green Food Policy
Before Russia’s military operation in Ukraine began in February, famine was already spreading in many parts of the world, although there a near black-out in most media of the mass suffering in food-short Afghanistan, Yemen, Congo, Haiti, and other places of acute need. According to the World Food Program, the number of people at the brink of famine has risen as of today from 27 million to 44 million, and “an additional 232 million people are just one step behind that category”.
To this will be added the sudden impact of the loss food and fertilizer supplies from the Ukraine-Russia-Belarus agriculture region. In recent years, Ukraine and Russia have accounted for one third of the 205 million metric tons (mmt) of wheat exported yearly globally, on which many nations depended, especially those in MENA—Middle East/North Africa, Turkey, and other neighboring areas. Russia and Belarus are both major fertilizer producers.
Ukraine has now formally announced a halt of exports of wheat, barley, corn/maize, sugar, sunflower oil and other food commodities, while Russia has banned wheat exports to Europe and other localities, and imposed a six month stop on fertilizer exports. Until now, Europe received 25% of its basic NPK fertilizer (nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium) from Russia, directly or indirectly. According to Svein Tore Holsether, President of the Yara fertilizer company, if nothing is done to mitigate the fertilizer crisis, yields of cereal grains in 2022 will fall by 50%.
Given the crisis, a dual response is needed: direct existing stocks of food to all priority locations to save lives, and second, produce more. That means, in basic logic, that the European Union should immediately cancel its “Farm to Fork” Green Deal policy, which is explicitly aimed at reducing agricultural production. But the European Commission categorically refused, at its March 9 meeting, to even consider postponing its so-called “sustainable” food goals, despite the growing shortages.