Lift Grain & Fertilizer Sanctions vs Russia-Grow Food to End Starvation in Africa & the World

Black Sea Grain Initiative Exposed

July 31, 2023

Black Sea Grain Initiative Joint Coordination Center
During the period of the Initiative, 75% of Ukraine’s grain exports went to Europe, China, and Türkiye, while very poor countries got between 2.5% and 3%.


In this article: Black Sea Grain Initiative Exposed, excerpted below, EIR magazine usefully exposes the false narrative attacking Russia for the food global shortage.

The following concepts should be clear to all those truly concerned about eradicating hunger in Africa and other parts of the world.   
 
First of all, Russia is not causing the world food shortage by ending the Black Sea Grain Initiaive. As indicated by EIR, only a tiny fraction of Ukraine’s wheat has been exported to poor nations whose populations are suffering from severe food insecurity. Second of all, Russia is the leading exporter of wheat and fertilizer components in the world. Sanctions against Russia has harmed all food importing nations. Lifting sanctions against Russia would help to alleviate food shortages immediately. The West never honored their part of the Black Sea Grain Initiative agreement that stipulated that there would be an easing of Russia’s export of wheat and fertilizers.  
 
Most important of all, there is no objective reason for food insecurity among any people of any nation on this planet! This brings us to the heart of the issue regarding food insecurity. Does the West really care about global food deficiencies, or has it become another weapon in the U.S. led proxy war against Russia?
 
Hunger on our planet could have been eliminated decades ago. For over 12,000 years, humankind has known how to grow food. When advances in technology, irrigation, mechanization, and fertilizers have been applied to farming, yields per hectare have massively increased.  I have personally witnessed this in my travels through the agricultural regions  of the United States.
 
For 30 years I have traveled throughout many sub-Saharan African nations, which are endowed with fertile soil, and large amounts of arable, but uncultivated land, creating a huge potential for the expansion of food production. If African nations in particular had been assisted in developing a modern agricultural sector coupled with an expanding manufacturing sector, hunger would cease to exist, and  the African continent would be a net food exporter.
 
The failure by Western nations and financial institutions, over the last six decades, to collaborate in creating vibrant agro-manufacturing economies in Africa, is the cause of food insecurity on the continent today.
 
A new paradigm of global relations, encompassing  a new financial architecture, dedicated to promoting economic development, would create the potential for leading food and fertilizer producing nations to begin the process of doubling world agricultural output. Progress would be visible immediately, and in the near future, no human being would have to suffer from want of food, anywhere on our planet.  

EIR excerpts:

Narrative #1: The outrageous lie that Ukraine was a major provider of grain to poor countries, and Russia was starving people by its special military operation. Fact check: Ukraine has been, since the 1990s, a major source of grain on the commercial market for developed countries, e.g. Spain, Japan, The Netherlands, China and others—for livestock feed and food needs.

These importers account for over 90% of Ukraine’s exports, and this kind of “world sourcing,” was imposed on Ukraine beginning in the 1990s, by the multi-national cartels which came to dominate land use, processing, shipping and export destinations. It was these cartels which Ambassador Polyansky named as having profited from the year-long Black Sea Grain Initiative.

In brief, the breakdown of Ukraine’s exports of 32–33 million metric tons of grain during the period of the Initiative: 32.9 million tons total, of which 40% went to European countries (Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, others), 25% to China; 10% to Türkiye. The very poorest countries got between 2.5% and 3% of the Ukraine grain exports over the period of the Initiative. This is illustrated by an infographic from the Black Sea Grain Initiative Joint Coordination Center. (Emphasis added)

Narrative #2: Promoted in Fall 2022 to replace the discredited “Ukraine supplies poor countries” version. It states that preventing Ukraine Black Sea food exports raises the prices on the world grain markets, and that is what harms poor, grain-import dependent nations. There is a grain of truth to this, but with a big exception. The West is doing less than nothing to increase grain production where possible, to supply emergency relief, and to put an end to the underlying causes of hunger to begin with.
The relevant figures of global underproduction of food can be seen in the volume of annual output of total grains, listed in order of volume: corn/maize, wheat, rice, barley, sorghum, oats, rye, etc. With over 8 billion people in the world, at the rough metric of half a ton of grain production per person, we should be producing some 4 billion tons a year (for direct consumption, and indirect consumption through the animal protein chain). But the annual global harvest is actually running at below 3 billion tons. Total grains output for the current and past two years is hovering in the same range: 2.799 billion metric tons in 2021/22, 2.745 bmt in 2022/23, and 2.831 bmt projected for 2023/24).


Read my earlier post:
Africa Threatened With Starvation: No Objective Reason

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *