2022 Food Prices Highest On Record

(USNewsMag.com) – According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s Food Price Index, prices for commodities like grain and vegetable oils were the highest on record in 2022. The previous year had also seen increases in food prices due to the COVID19 Pandemic. Much of the world’s populations most vulnerable to famine and hunger rely heavily on exports from the Black Sea, a commodity that was greatly reduced due to the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. 

The global food crisis was worsened by a deepening drought in the Middle East and Africa, as well as poor harvests in the Americas caused by persistent La Nina weather patterns. Global fertilizer prices skyrocketed during the crucial planting season due to increased natural gas prices which decreased crop output. While international sanctions against Russia imposed in response to the military action in Ukraine did not apply to food shipments, difficulties in traveling near the warzone impacted the region’s ability to export grain. Russian ships faced sanctions regarding insurance which likewise constrained the amount of food that was exported from the region.

While food prices have begun trending downward, many people currently face food insecurity. Countries that rely on imports to feed their population have been paying more and receiving less. This is especially worrisome in the Horn of Africa which is suffering from extreme drought. The worst hit thus far is Somalia, where the U.N. is already warning of famine

Increases in food prices lead to a rise in poverty levels. According to the United Nations Development Program, in just the first 6 months of the war in Ukraine, 71 million people worldwide were pushed into poverty by inflation. 

The Food and Agriculture Organization predicted in June 2022 that the market would not be able to rein in food price increases for the 2022/2023 season, or even potentially the following year.

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