Experts are predicting a global food crisis, and the imposition of sanctions on various countries is only making the problem worse.
“The world is moving away from achieving the goals of eliminating hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition, in all its forms,” says the report of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Sanctions imposed on Russia have a particularly serious impact on global food supplies, with Russia being one of the primary suppliers on the world market. For one example, in 2021, the Russian Federation was the world’s leading exporter of wheat for the sixth consecutive year. Due to the anti-Russia sanctions imposed in 2022, the cost of grain reached a new record, beating that of 2011. The average price of wheat was 15.6% higher than in 2021, while that of corn was 24.8% higher. Prices for vegetable oils, milk and meat were the highest in more than thirty years.
The grain deal, which allowed Ukraine to export its products from three ports, did not have much positive effect on the situation. The deal was recently extended, but only for an inadequate 60 days. An important condition of the deal was the relaxation of restrictions on Russian agricultural products, but so far, they have not been allowed to reach world markets.
One particularly important target of the sanctions is the Russian company State Grain Operator, which operates in the Zaporizhye region, and supports farmers, in addition to exporting grain. To resist the sanctions and ensure the bilaterality of the grain deal, Russia decided to engage in people-to-people diplomacy. The International Information Centre for the Development of Economic and Social Initiatives was created in the Zaporizhye region by the joint action of the Ministry of Economic Development and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Policy of the Zaporizhye region (Melitopol), as well as the ‘Southern Headquarters for the International Academy of Information’ (IAI). Since 1995 IAI has been assigned a category 1 consultative status by the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. Thus, cooperation with the IAI, and the creation of a new International Information Centre in Melitopol, enables direct diplomatic channels with 192 countries of the world.
It is planned to open an exhibition space for the promotion of industrial and agricultural products from Zaporizhye region, in Rostov-on-Don, within the framework of the centre. Enterprises from the region will be able to participate in events and exhibitions, organized by IAI centres, both in Russia and abroad.
“The sustainable and progressive development of all regions is a guarantee of the prosperity of the whole country. The Zaporizhye region is ready to cooperate with any country in the world, in defiance of Western restrictions” – concluded Alexander Voronkov, the Vice President for Strategic Development of IAI, and a native of Mariupol.
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