In the spotlight: Africa is threatened by food shortages

Consequence of the war in Ukraine … “Wheat and other cereals are once again at the heart of geopolitics, observes 24 Hours in Dakar. With Ukraine and Russia playing major roles in the global agricultural market, African leaders must be vigilant.”

In fact, the Dakar daily specifies, “Russia supplies about 10% of the world’s wheat, while Ukraine produces 4%. In total, this represents almost all of the EU’s wheat production.”

And much of that wheat is exported to Africa. And beware, warns 24 Hours, “the disruption of trade, due to the invasion, in this important grain-producing region of the Black Sea would help drive up the prices of basic agricultural products internationally, with potential negative repercussions on food prices worldwide. (And especially in Africa).

In addition, the Dakar Daily notes, “an increase in the price of raw materials was visible only a few days after the start of the conflict. (…) This situation is therefore worrying for the African continent, a major importer of wheat and sunflower oil. certain parts of the continent. “

28 million potential victims “The ghost of famine lurks in West Africa”, do not hesitate to call Todayand Ouagadougou. “A severe famine threatens Africa, especially in its Sahelian part,” the newspaper Burkinabé reported. According to ECOWAS estimates, 28 million souls could be the bilateral food victims of the war between Russia and Ukraine. (…) Africa is, of course, very far from this war, but here we are, in this world village, everything is intertwined, Ouagadougou sighs daily, and Africa, which has not yet won the battle against hunger, will suffer the repercussions of this struggle so far. away and so close. (…) These difficulties will be evident in the price level of fertilizers and cereals, wheat and maize, which are necessary for bread or even to feed poultry.

Galloping inflation The first consequence of this war in Ukraine: rising prices …

This is what notices Africa point which just takes the example of Burkina Faso. “As the days go by, the gap between the purchasing power of Burkinabè and the prices of certain consumer products is experiencing an increase. Such as cereals, commercial garden products, oil or even meat. An increase in prices which is also explained by the uncertainty prevailing in the country, especially in Boucle du Mouhoun, in the northwest, considered the burqa’s bread basket.

Fuel: prices explode A price increase is also noted for fuel, as everywhere in the world … For example, in Morocco, where “the government will subsidize truck drivers for the sky-high diesel”, states The world Africa . “All carriers (freight, passengers, taxis, etc.) should benefit from state aid. Several road transport unions had observed a five-day strike last week and demanded a cap on fuel prices and margins for hydrocarbon distributors. The escalation of prices does not only affect fuel,” Le Monde said. Afrique, but also basic food, which has provoked demonstrations against the high cost of living – currently spread – across the country.

The unrest intensified by Ramadan … And the approaching Ramadan, in 15 days, increases the unrest further … This is what the newspaper points out Freedom in Algiers: “as is often the case during such a period, a few days before the beginning of the holy month, Algerians flock to the products, probably for fear of a possible price increase and possible unavailability of certain products. of wide consumption, especially the most popular during this month, such as semolina, bulgur, raisins, flour, butter, etc. A frenzy that risks benefiting speculators and causing shortages. ”

For its part, the General Union of Algerian Tradesmen and Craftsmen still want to be reassuring, the site states Emerging Maghreb : “Algeria’s grain stocks are sufficient to cover demand until the end of this year, the union assures, adding that even prices will not be affected by the Ukrainian crisis, due to the orders Algeria made before the war broke out. at low cost.

An optimism that remains to be verified on the market stalls …

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