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Food and Beverages | Friday, June 24, 2022
The old and outdated systems of production and distribution of food have failed to cope up with the COVID-19 pandemic, it needs a radical change. The centrality of Ukrainian wheat production is a demonstration of the weak links in the food system.
FREMONT, CA: Of all the food-producing countries, Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus are major food producers that face serious crises as a result of the conflict in the region. The food crisis is likely to have a dramatic effect on the global economy, says the International Monetary Fund. The Ukrainian crisis has led to a spike in global food prices, which has resulted in food shortages in many emerging economies. The food crisis in Ukraine has already led to political and economic fallout in Sri Lanka, Egypt, Tunisia, and Peru. The crisis has been worsened by Russia’s position as a prime energy exporter. Countries in an attempt to increase their food production are facing additional energy and fertilizer challenges. There is a crash in the whole system, and developing countries will be the worst affected in the times to come.
In February, the United States and the United Arab Emirates led a global initiative called the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate. Together, they kicked off a USD eight billion effort to make farming cleaner and more efficient. This initiative would invest in agricultural technology (agtech) areas such as nanotechnologies, biotechnologies, robotics, and artificial intelligence. But solely rich countries' spending money on the problem cannot solve the issue in the long run, this problem requires deeper analysis and research. However, Agtech has an answer to solve the problem of food shortages. However, the challenge seems to be that many of the startups driving the sector forward still lack acceptance of the critical investment needed to transform food production.
The Middle East seems to be an ideal testing ground for the agtech company of the future, considering its natural challenges with food and water production. The Ukraine conflict is a reminder that the global food supply chain is broken beyond repair and the crisis caused by food insecurity will only get worse as climate change and population expansion create more pressure on the supply chain.