Suspension of Black Sea Grain initiative expected to further exacerbate food security, fuel, fertilizer supply challenges: India

Source: The post is based on the article “Suspension of Black Sea Grain initiative expected to further exacerbate food security, fuel, fertilizer supply challenges: India” published in Indian Express on 1st November 2022.

What is the News?

India has said the suspension of the Black Sea Grain initiative is expected to further exacerbate food security, fuel and fertilizer supply challenges faced by the world, particularly in the global South.

What is the Black Sea Grain Initiative?

Ukraine is among the largest exporters of wheat, maize, rapeseed, sunflower seeds and sunflower oil, globally. Ukraine normally supplies around 45 million tonnes of grain to the global market every year.

Countries in West Asia and Africa such as Egypt, Turkey, Lebanon, Sudan and Yemen depend more on Russian and Ukrainian exports. They tend to buy more during the winter to supplement their own harvests, which are largely consumed by the end of the year

But following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, mountains of grains built up in silos, with ships unable to secure safe passage to and from Ukrainian ports, and land routes unable to compensate. This contributed to a jump in the price of staple foods around the world. 

To overcome this, in July 2022 the UN, Russian Federation, Turkey and Ukraine agreed to the Black Sea Grain Initiative.

What is the significance of the Black Sea Grain Initiative?

The initiative alone cannot address global hunger; it can only avert the chances of the global food crisis spiralling further.

The deal allowed exports from Ukraine of grain, other foodstuffs, and fertilizer, including ammonia, to resume through a safe maritime humanitarian corridor from three key Ukrainian ports to the rest of the world. 

As per the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, approximately 10.1 million tonnes of grains have been shipped since the initiative commenced. The deal has also been credited for having made a “huge difference” to the global cost of living crisis.

To implement the deal, a Joint Coordination Centre (JCC) was established in Istanbul, comprising senior representatives from the Russian Federation, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Nations.

What has happened to the Black Sea Grain Initiative now?

Russia has announced it was withdrawing from the Black Sea Grain Initiative for an indefinite period after it accused Ukraine of a “massive” drone attack on the Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol in Crimea.

This is expected to further exacerbate the food security, fuel and fertilizer supply challenges faced by the world.

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