Coercive covid-19 lockdown measures, vaccine mandates, the transition to green energy, and poorly thought out Western sanctions against Russia have all played significant roles in disrupting global food markets and supply chains. In May 2022, data from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization indicated that, relative to twelve months ago, “international wheat prices have increased 56 percent,” “cereal prices are up nearly 30 percent,” and “vegetable oils are 45 percent higher.”
The World Bank expects many people to be pushed into extreme poverty and to experience food insecurity on account of higher prices for both food and farm inputs, particularly in nations that import most of their needs in these areas. More specifically, it notes that “the war in Ukraine has altered global patterns of trade, production, and consumption of commodities in ways that will keep prices at historically high levels through the end of 2024 exacerbating food insecurity and inflation.” Meanwhile, Bayer, “an international chemicals, agricultural and healthcare group,” projects that “food insecuritywill affect up to 1.9 billion people by November 2022—mainly caused by the war in Ukraine and further accelerated by climate change and COVID-19,” which could possibly lead to a “hurricane of hunger.”
In May, the World Economic Forum (WEF) issued a press release stating that “there is a risk that short-term efforts to combat food shortages could come at the expense of meeting climate and sustainability targets given the interconnection between agriculture and climate change. Global food production contributes more than a third of greenhouse gas emissions, and efforts to ramp up food supply could worsen emissions and reliance on fossil fuels.” The WEF does not support efforts to find immediate solutions to the current food crisis; rather, it is focusing on making radical changes to food production and human beings’ consumption habits over the coming decades. In 2018, the WEF pointed out that
feeding the world in 2050 will require a 70 percent increase in overall food production because of population growth and changes in consumption driven by an expanding middle class, with demand for red meat and dairy products increasing by up to 80 percent. Every opportunity presented by the Fourth Industrial Revolution must be used to realize a global food production system that can address challenges with limited environmental impact.