Floods and severe lockdowns in China have hampered farming to the point where the country’s winter wheat harvest, which begins next month, remains one of the biggest unknowns in a global economy already beset by high commodity prices.
According to the New York Times, if the Chinese harvest is poor in the following weeks, food prices will rise, even more, exacerbating hunger and poverty in the world’s poorest countries.
The soil in China was flooded last autumn due to a flood. Because of this, wheat struggles to establish itself. Furthermore, Ren Ruixia, a 45-year-old farmhand, claims that the Chinese government’s coronavirus quarantines have caused fertilizer deliveries to be delayed.
The scarcity of food has long been a major concern in China. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) founder Mao Zedong’s legacy was damaged by disastrous agricultural experiments that resulted in tens of millions of people dying of famine in the early 1960s. Many strict regulations caused turmoil in China. One of them was keeping the national objective for cultivated acres.
Farming was necessary on a substantial portion of the country’s land, 463,000 square miles, which is greater than Texas. To meet the national aim for acres under cultivation, rural settlements are occasionally destroyed.
According to Joseph W. Glauber, a senior research fellow at Washington’s International Food Policy Research Institute, “China maintains a large wheat reserve in case of need. However, due to poor storage, some of the wheat may only be fit for animal consumption.”
The situation in Jilin Province, which has been under strict COVID lockdowns, has gotten even worse. Many families were prohibited from leaving their apartments to buy groceries. They’ve had trouble finding adequate food. According to the media site, China’s concern about its food reserves might spread throughout the global supply system.
China has the world’s largest foreign currency reserves, allowing it to purchase as much wheat as it requires on international markets. However, doing so could drive wheat prices even higher, making it unaffordable in many developing countries.
The war in Eastern Europe is another cause of the food crisis. The siege on Ukraine’s ports, which have long been recognized as Europe’s breadbasket, is creating serious fears about a “global famine crisis.”