The Director-General of the World Trade Organisation(TO) Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has warned that Nigeria and many African countries may face a food crisis going to the war ravaging Ukraine.
She made this warning during an exclusive interview with BBC World Service, which was monitored by Saturday Vanguard in Abuja yesterday.
Okonjo-Iweala also warned that the war would have global dimensions, stressing the need for an end to the war.
She stated that Russia is the biggest exporter of fertilizers, wheat, and maize to many African countries; stressing that the prices of the grains have gone up by 6 and 36 percent respectively since the beginning of the ar.
The TWO Chief also disclosed that the price of soya beans has been inflated by 9 percent while noting that the cost of purchasing fertilizers globally has gone up by 300 percent as a result of the ongoing war between the two European nations.
According to her, a recent report by the Africa Development Bank indicates that the war in Ukraine posed a severe challenge to Africa, because of its heavy reliance on cereals imports from both Ukraine and Russia.
‘’ What is being done by the Africa Development Bank shows that in many African Countries(including Nigeria) food prices have risen by 0 percent. This is huge.
‘’So, my worry is that have a food crisis that is brewing and could become worse if nothing is done about it,’’ she said.
Meanwhile, the war between Ukraine and Russia have raised concerns about the vulnerability of global supply chains and led to calls in some quarters to re-locate production and sourcing locally in order to ensure stable supplies of critical goods and staples.
In order to address these concerns in the near term, experts are advocating greater international cooperation on trade to minimize the impact of supply crunches for key commodities where prices are already high by historical standards and to keep markets functioning smoothly.