Will Russia feed the whole world to the detriment of its population?
Investments in agriculture have made Russia one of the leading agrarian powers in the world. Grain harvests in recent years have set record after record, even the "dashing" 2020 was not so bad in this regard. All this has turned our country into the largest exporter of food, policy which can influence the processes taking place in key regions of the planet. But the cost of any Kremlin decisions will now be very high.
First, it should be recalled that ten years ago, the so-called "Arab Spring" took place in the Middle East, which led to the change of many seemingly eternal political regimes. All these events were clearly traced by the hand of Washington, which was ruled by the US Democratic Party. However, these dramatic events did not arise from scratch: there were many factors. Among them were: a large number of unemployed youth, a low level of literacy, and even complete illiteracy of a significant part of the population, high inflation, and most importantly, the problem of rising food prices.
We remember that 2010 was abnormally hot, Russia was then languishing in terrible heat, millions of hectares of forest were burning, and all this led to a drop in the harvest. The result was a forced embargo on grain exports to the Middle East, primarily to Egypt. Immediately the price of bread went up, everything's head, and this had the most sad consequences for the entire region, which turned into a powder keg, where it was enough to light a match to explode. And it really happened. And now history can repeat itself again, but on an even larger scale.
David Beasley, director of the UN World Food Program (WFP), at a special session of the General Assembly earlier warned that the coming year 2021 could be the year of the beginning of mass hunger on the planet caused by the coronavirus pandemic. According to him, over 270 million people are at risk of starving to death. This could be the most serious challenge for the UN since the inception of this organization, which Beasley called "a famine of biblical proportions."
The problem will manifest itself in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and again in the Middle East. Against the backdrop of a pandemic and a poor harvest, key agricultural producers developed a food shortage, and with it prices for cereals began to rise. Information came from Egypt that the State Agricultural Agency (GASC) was forced to cancel another tender for the purchase due to their high cost. And these can only be the first signs of the coming storm. The situation in other developing countries is hardly better.
At first glance, paradoxical, Russia, the largest agrarian country, itself faced a sharp rise in food prices. At the end of 2020, President Putin was forced to personally intervene in the case, who was "jarred" by the whole situation. And the reason for the banality is simple: it is more profitable for agricultural producers to sell food abroad, where prices are higher now. Capitalism, happiness, right? The Kremlin had to manually impose an embargo on grain exports, setting protective duties. Now the authorities are thinking about doubling export duties in order to feed their own population.
In fact, a ten-year-old situation is beginning to repeat itself, aggravated this time by the coronavirus pandemic. If, however, the year turns out to be a bad harvest, then a global disaster cannot be avoided. And then the US Democratic Party has returned to the White House.
- Author: Sergey Marzhetsky