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Food shortage imminent – Senior Economist predicts

By Nana Ama Mensah, CDA Consult
Headlines Mr. Habibu Adam
MAY 13, 2022 LISTEN
Mr. Habibu Adam

Food shortage is imminent during the later part of this year and spread to next year Mr. Habibu Adam, a Senior Economist at the office of the Senior Presidential Advisor has predicted stressing that the continued global food shortage during the latter part of this year and 2023 is attributed to the Russia-Ukraine war.

Due to the shortage of fertilizer as a result of the ongoing war the world is gradually moving into a food crisis stage adding that already, the United Nations and the World Food Programme have hinted of it and asked countries to brace themselves for the worst, as there would be a food shortage globally.

Mr Adam who was speaking on the Ghana News Agency-Tema Industrial News Hub Boardroom Dialogue platform revealed that “looming food danger is not associated with any particular government, it’s a global phenomenon, there is likely to be food shortage next year beginning from this year onward”.

The GNA Tema Industrial News Hub Boardroom Dialogue is a media think-tank platform for state and non-state and commercial and business operators to communicate to the world and address global issues, which was monitored by the Communication for Development and Advocacy Consult (CDA Consult) at Tema.

Speaking on the theme, “Effects of Russia and Ukraine war on the global economy: prospects and challenges for Ghana,” Mr. Adam said to mitigate the effect of the war, the government was looking at alternative sources to substitute the fertilizer to enable farmers to produce the needed food for the country.

The Senior Economist said apart from the fertilizer-related issues, the war had also led to the shortage of some essential things including fuel, grains, platinum, as well as lithium, nickel, and cobalt which were metals used in electric vehicles (EV) batteries.

Mr Adam said Russia and Ukraine were among the world’s largest exporters of cereal crops and oils accounting for more than 30 per cent of global grain comprising wheat, maize, and barley exports.

He added that while Ukraine supplied half of all sunflower oil, and is said to be one of the world’s largest contributors to the World Food Programme (WFP) accounting for 40 percent of its wheat supplies.

He said it has also increased inflation rates of countries worldwide, saying the March 2022 inflation of 19.4 per cent in Ghana was the highest since August 2009 , the US inflation of 8.5 per cent was the highest in 40 years, and that of the UK’s seven per cent inflation was their highest in 30 years.

Mr Adam explained that such high inflations had resulted in rising interest rates and their effects on the economies of the world, explaining that the US for instance increased its interest rate by one per cent, which was the highest in 22 years.

He said “as a result of this high cost of living due to the war, it is reported that more than two million Britons cannot afford to eat every day. Another report also indicates that about 1.5 million people in the UK will struggle to pay their bills. This statistic is similar across the world except that the UK published their faster”.

The Senior Economist said this might likely trigger outflows of investments out of Africa and exacerbate the depreciation of African currencies.

In a related development, the Centre for Greater Impact Africa (CGIA) has called on the government to consider the Russia-Ukraine war as a potential blessing rather than blaming it for the country’s economic challenges.

The Reverend Dr Samuel Worlanyo Mensah, Executive Director of the CGIA explained that the war has championed an increase and an increment in crude oil prices on the international market, and Ghana being an oil-producing country could leverage it to make more money from the sale of its crude oil.

“It has a created a platform to generate more revenue, and by this time the Finance Ministry should have been telling Ghanaians how the country would make some extra 40 per cent on its annual oil revenue,” he said.

Rev. Dr Mensah was speaking at the Ghana News Agency Tema Industrial News Hub Boardroom Dialogue, which was on the topic: “Global economy, Russia and Ukraine war, prospects and challenges for Ghana.”

He explained that pushing the national economic woes on the ongoing war was just a political move rather than an economic fact.

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