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6th September 2022

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Food is one of the most essential parts of our lives. In the past, there have been many instances of exiguousness, mainly in the low-income countries resulting in death of scores of people, especially children who are impuissant. The supply of food products and other edible items from countries that produce should not be halted. However, having said this, countries that produce foods, and supply them should also think first about the welfare of its own people, and then should step on the gas to send the surplus to other countries.

When we talk about countries like Ukraine, that produces about 22 million tonnes of grain, has made the first shipment in terms of the deal. According to the UN, The Joint Coordination Centre (JCC) which is managing the Black Sea Grain Initiative, agreed between the UN, Ukraine, Russia and Turkey, has authorized the departure of three vessels – two from the port of Chornomorsk and one from Odessa, carrying a total of 58,041 tonnes of corn through the designated «maritime humanitarian corridor.» This will definitely help softening of prices to an already positive looking picture of global prices. This will have some positive implication for Africa in the form of possible price decline, and an increase in supplies as a result of the deal.

Let’s look at the statistics for Ukraine in the global food supply.

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African countries rank high among the importers of agricultural products from Ukraine.

About 48 percent of this was wheat, 31 percent maize, and the rest included sunflower oil, barley, and soybeans.

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From the data shown above, it is evident that Ukraine is one of the top suppliers of grains, but the government should focus in the first place on ensuring the food supply remains constant within the country.

India is also fulfilling its role in supplying wheat and other agricultural products around the world, but it is also lagging behind in recent days due to wheat export ban as a result of unseasonably hot weather that has affected the wheat crop, sending local prices soaring. This should not last too long as the monsoon has already entered, and India may soon release the ban on wheat export. If and when India does restart wheat export, this will release some pressure in the markets and help bring the prices down.

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