Africa Face Looming Higher Food Prices And Scarcity – USAID

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News in brief: Africa will face higher food prices and scarcity in the latter part of 2023, according to USAID. The agency, through its representative, blamed the Russian war which has disrupted global supply of grains.

The United States Agency for International Development, (USAID) has issued an alert over impending higher food prices in Africa. Isobel Coleman, the agency’s Deputy administrator for Policy and Programming, made this known in a chat with newsmen.

She said the blocked Ukraine food exports to the continent is one of the leading reasons for the impending food crisis, which is an offshoot of Russia’s invasion. She added that the impact of Russia’s decision to withdraw from the grain deal was already triggering higher food prices globally.

Consequently, Coleman observed that developing countries would especially feel the effect of the move because of their dependence on food imports. In addition, she remarked on the importance of Ukraine in global food security, which she described as the breadbasket of Europe.

The USAID executive further described the impact on developing countries as acute, since they have to spend much of their precious foreign exchange resources to purchase food to feed their population.

The Russia and Ukraine war, which began in February 2022, saw to the cessation of grain shipments from Ukraine through the Black Sea. Russia also stopped grain exports as a result of the situation, endangering global food security.

The Black Sea Grain Initiative was brokered by the United Nations and Turkey, with representatives of Russia and Ukraine in July 22, 2022. It was conceived to allow passage of food and fertiliser products in continued maritime exports. The agreement allowed for food passage from three key Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea, which are Odessa, Chornomorsk, Yuzhny.

However, the deal, upon expiring the second time was not renewed by Russia. It claimed that global sanctions were affecting its own agricultural exports and needed some of its terms met.

Coleman said that the USAID was already exploring alternative means through which Ukraine could export its grain. Also, she mentioned that the US government has made key investments in agriculture within the African continent through the Feed the Future campaign. The aim is to make developing countries more resilient to food crisis.

Joseph Akahome
Joseph Akahome
Joseph O Akahome (OJ) is a writer, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Literature from the University of Benin. He is an avid agriculturist, with a bias for poultry and an insatiable appetite for chicken wings. When he is neither reading nor researching, he likes to spend recreational time playing board games, or swimming in serene forested lakes.

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