Back in March, shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine, I reported that one of the sanctions placed on Russian exports was on the chemical fertilizer they produce there. At the time Russia was responsible for around 23% of the world supply of fertilizer, and thus those sanctions would cause an overall shortage of fertilizer in the world, which in turn would mean smaller crop yields at harvest time. That shortage and its projected ill-effects has been called a “slow moving disaster” that will not be completely felt until it is too late.
More recently Sara Menker, CEO of Gro Intelligence (an agricultural data analytics company) spoke before the U.N. Security Council about the a “seismic” food shortage that could start in as little as 10 weeks. While she admitted that the crisis cannot wholly be blamed on the Russia-Ukraine War, it has “added fuel to a fire that was long burning. A crisis we detected tremors from long before the COVID 19 pandemic exposed the fragility of our supply chains.” According to Menker, this crisis “is a once in a generation occurrence that can dramatically reshape the geopolitical era” and that “without substantial immediate and aggressive coordinated global actions, we stand the risk of an extraordinary amount of both human suffering and economic damage” that could last several years.
At the center of the food shortage crisis Menker was speaking about is one of the world’s most consumed grains- wheat.
A Worldwide Shortage of Wheat
Former CIA agent and analyst Bryan Dean Wright recently broke down the world wide effects of the current and projected problems of a low wheat crop yield on his President’s Daily Brief podcast,
1. Together both Russia and Ukraine produce about 25% of the world’s wheat supply, but the war has put a strain on exports, which has caused a shortage of wheat on the overall world market. This shortage has already caused a rise in the price of wheat-based products as much as 60% since February, and it is expected to go even higher by the end of the summer for three reasons.
The first is that right now Ukrainian farmers, from Mariupol to Khersan, are planting their crops in the midst of areas that are war zones under less-than-ideal conditions with worker, material, and fuel shortages. Secondly, assuming the farmers and crops survive until mid-June when the wheat is harvested, there is the worry that the railways or roads (30% of which have already been bombed by Russia) used to move the grain to port will come under attack by the Russian army, which already has shown few compunctions in attacking civilians.
And lastly, even if the wheat gets to port cities like Odessa, where 90% of all Ukrainian exports leave the country, the Black Sea is completely controlled by the Russian navy. In fact, Russian naval commanders have already stolen Ukrainian wheat shipments and have tried (and failed) to sell their loads in Egypt. There has been some discussion about shipping the wheat north to Poland to export it from their ports, but that would present a whole host of other problems. The largest of which is that the railroad tracks in Poland are of a different gauge than in Ukraine and it would create a lot of extra work (and add to the price) to transfer loads.
No matter what choices the Ukrainian government makes, all of them are fraught with danger and there is always the Russian element as a constant variable.
2. India, which is the second largest producer of wheat in the world, had planned on making up for the projected shortfalls in the world’s wheat supply. However, the country is currently suffering from a record heat wave and lack of rain, and thus the Indian government has recently decided to ban all wheat exports.
3. In Sri Lanka, who get 45% of their wheat from Russia and Ukraine, rioting has began over high food prices and low food supplies. Some 38 homes of politicians and 75 other government buildings were burned down by mostly agitated protestors. They became so bad, that at one point the Prime Minister, Mahinda Rajapaksa, had to be recused by military special forces before he promptly resigned his office.
4. In Lebanon, who get 80% of their wheat from Russia and Ukraine, they received their last shipment from Ukraine in April. Now it has been reported that they have less than a month’s supply of wheat left to feed not only its own people, but also the thousands of Syrian refugees in the country. As a side note, it is suspected that the wheat the Russians stole from Ukrainian ports is ending up in Syria- an ally of Russia.
5. Egypt, which imports 60-80% of its wheat from Russia and Ukraine, was going to try and make up its wheat shortage by turning to India, but that is no longer an option. So they have passed measures "encouraging” Egyptian farmers to sell their crops to the government, with the added incentives of fines and jail time for those who try to sell it on the open market.
6. In the African nation of Cameroon, which gets 60% of wheat from Ukraine, bread prices have quadrupled, numerous mills and bakeries have closed down, and the government is encouraging its citizens to turn to yams or casaba as substitutes for wheat. Meanwhile Kenya, which gets 66% of its wheat from Russia and Ukraine, is experiencing a drought and were planning on lifting an outdated ban on Indian wheat to alleviate the problem. But since that is not going to help them, they are encouraging their people to turn to rice and sorghum as wheat substitutes.
7. And what of the United States? Well there are two crops grown in this country, one in the Winter and one in the Spring. Unfortunately the winter crop was smaller than expected due to drought in certain areas, and now because of a cooler Spring and too much moisture, the Spring wheat crop is late in being planted which could affect its yield in the fall.
It’s Going to be a Long Hot Summer in more Ways than One
Recently the Women’s March organization announced that in response to the almost certain overturning of Roe v. Wade by the SCOTUS, Americans should expect to see a “Summer of Rage across America.” They are more correct than they realize, as we have already witnessed how the current administration, with the collusion of the legacy media, has attempted to assert as much power as they can muster before the coming mid-terms. Of course they are simply trying to manage the disasters they have helped to create, and while some of them foolishly think they can actually do so, history has demonstrated that misery and mobs have been the downfall of the “Capital City” elite classes.
Whether it is the new Monkey Pox scare that is being hyped so they don’t have to relinquish the power they’ve had with their Covid policies, their gaslighting about inflation or the economy, or latest white supremacist boogeyman they desperately need in order to appear that they are doing something other than driving our nation into a recession and civil strife. Given all of the death and destruction which occurred in 2020 during the George Floyd riots, we would be fools to not take these activists (both in and out of the government) at their word (i.e. “rage”) about their intentions.
In fact, all of the problems being report around the world should be seen as premonitions of what could happen here this summer should things slip the leash. After all, if you take the pro-abortion protests, the stirring up of racial animosities, and our faltering economy, then add soaring food and gas prices or shortages and you have a powder keg that is ready to explode. Seriously, think very long and hard about this thought- in 2020 people were willing to come to blows over toilet paper and hand sanitizer, what do you think people do when they have kids to feed and there is one loaf of bread left on the shelf or a single gallon of gas left at the pump?
We all know what the answer is, and while most of would like to think we could handle ourselves or deescalate the situation, it would be better if we could avoid it altogether. As I mentioned in my previous article the time to prepare for the coming crisis is now. Stock up on food and other necessities, cut back on all unnecessary expenses, and learn basic skills that will help you and your family become more self-sufficient. Also, with the price of dielsel fuel at all-time highs, how long before truck deliveries have to be curtailed or prioritized? With that in mind, if you can, it would be better to move out of the cities or at the very least form your own Catacomb Communities or mutual support groups that will aid one another in getting through the hard times.
Most importantly though, we need to get our kids to stop playing video games in some fantasy world, and encourage them to start learning how “level up” their own lives in the world they live in. They are the ones who must inherit a world of shortages and strife, and thus they are the ones we must foster and educate to invent or create the innovations that will solve the problems created by previous generations who put too much trust in the government or big business. Young people are always idealistic about wanting to “make a difference” or to “change the world”, now is the time to teach them to put their moxie where their mouths are and step up to that challenge.
Photo Credit- bizjournal. com