the UN has warned about the growing number of hungry people by half.

the World is waiting for the global food crisis. This forecast was made by chief economist of the UN food programme Arif Hussain. According to experts of the program in 2020 from hunger will suffer 265 million people — twice more than last year. At the same time, indicators of crops, planting and livestock, as well as the prices of agricultural products, while not showing a clear trend to a shortage of food. Nevertheless, the problem of malnutrition may become relevant due abrupt impoverishment of citizens.

Details — in the article “Izvestia”.

the Theme of the dangers of the world food crisis in recent decades was raised repeatedly. Experts initially warned about the threat of too rapid growth of population, for whom food production could (in theory) not make it. Then add to this concerns about climate change. For example, not so long ago the UN predicted the significant yield reduction in many countries by 2050 it is for climatic reasons.

In 2007-2008, the price of most food items have risen sharply. According to the Food and agriculture organization of the UN (FAO), from January 2006 to June 2008, food prices rose on average by almost half. The rice grew in price by 217%, wheat by 136%, soybeans by 107%. Become noticeably more expensive meat of all types and dairy products. The process called “aplasia” (agricultural inflation), and many experts then predicted that the world is facing the threat of mass starvation.

this feature has had many reasons, both long-term (rapid growth of the population worldwide), and a specific characteristic of the first decade of our century. In particular, the role played by the sharp increase of sown areas under biofuel crops (rapeseed), reduction of strategic food reserves, rising prices for fuel and fertilizers, the slope of the agriculture of different countries in monoculture and, finally, financial speculation. Whatever it was, but the crisis of 2008 ended aplasia — many products, for example, wheat fell then twice.

a New round of rising prices for some types of food happened in 2010 against the backdrop of serious challenges with the weather. Hard drought in the Northern hemisphere led to the collapse of the grain harvest (for example, in Russia the decline was 37% over the previous year). Many countries have imposed restrictions on the export of grain and other food commodities, which pushed prices up.

Since 2011 the world has witnessed a stable trend as the growth of crops, and on mitigating the problems of food security. One example would be Russia, where at the end of 2000-ies in the god was going about 80-90 million tonnes of grain, and after 10 years 120-130 million tons, the Production of almost all kinds of meat, except for beef have also increased, and the production of vegetables increased significantly.

In a good plus compared to figures a decade ago most developing countries in the global South. So, India has repeatedly predicted problems with food due global warming, which has hit the country almost stronger than all the world. However, despite the rising temperatures, agriculture is the largest democracy in the world demonstrates the excellent dynamics.

In 2009, India was going at least 90 million tonnes of rice, in 2019, this figure reached 117,5 million tonnes — an increase of more than a quarter. An equally impressive growth in wheat: in 2009, it has collected 80 million tons, and in 2019 — a record 106 million tonnes, Almost every year recorded growth of production in most crops as well as for the production of meat (although India as a whole rather vegetarian country).

In General, global agricultural production is growing quite steadily. Meat production has increased by more than 10% over the last 10 years. The rise, outpacing population growth is recorded in most grains. It is clearly visible and prices. On US exchanges wheat costs about $5 dollars per bushel, only 20% more expensive than the average in the 1970s (about $4 dollars per bushel).

Mitigating the food problem is fixed and in the overall number of hungry and malnourished. At the end of the 2000s, the number of undernourished regularly (it is a broad concept, which includes as literally starving, and people receiving enough nutrients from food) exceeds a billion people. In the second half of the 2010s, it dropped below $ 800 million of the world’s population over the decade has grown significantly.

thus, the proportion experiencing food problem has been reduced from 15% to 10% — a record low for the last 100 years. Year after year, food production outpaced population growth, and thus the threat of hunger farther away in the past.

Now in the food program, I believe that this danger can return due of the epidemic. The main threat may occur in the gap of product chains and the reduction of food production that may cause food shortages around the world. In the example given, in particular, restrictions on the export of certain food products introduced this spring, many States, fearing the growth of prices on the domestic market (in particular, Romania, Russia, Kazakhstan, and Vietnam).

However, today the situation with the presence of food in the world is far from a crisis. This is evident in the number and the prices on most�� food in recent months, they are rather in the negative zone. Wheat, for example, as kept in the range of $180 to $200 per ton, so holds today. Some increase in pork prices occurred due caused by ASF decline of livestock in China, but to date have stabilized.

it is Unlikely that quarantine measures will seriously affect agriculture. No country in the world has imposed significant restrictions on the work and the displacement of farmers. Certain problems may arise, however, from the producers of fruits and berries. Cultivate and harvest fruit products are a time-consuming task and not always easily machined. In many countries this industry is dependent on migrant labour, both domestic and international, and they quarantine measures could put an impenetrable barrier.

as for the restrictions on foreign trade, it is worth noting that by the end of may, the majority of exporters have not entered the any bans, the rest is soon to be canceled. Countries such as USA, Canada, Australia and Argentina, where export grain is more than 50% of domestic consumption, to impose restrictions altogether meaningless in any event.

Additional purchases of grain held Algeria, Turkey, Egypt and the Philippines, which largely has caused some increase of the exchange prices for the main crops. In India’s grain reserves three times higher than the statutory requirements.

However, certain problems can arise with the distribution. In some countries, strict quarantine regime has led to the lack of workers in the retail sector, small and remote settlements, despite the fact that their population has grown many migrants returning home from the cities. In India, the same was closed more than 7 thousand food markets, where a significant portion of the population buys the product. Farmers gathered a rich harvest this season, in turn, do not know when and to whom they will be able to implement it.

But the biggest potential danger is not so much a logistical problem, and certainly not a lack of food per se, but a sharp drop in incomes. For most people in rich countries or States with the average GDP per capita, this means tightening belts — but we are talking about non-food products. For poor countries — mostly Asian and African, this can mean a reduction of the diet of a large part of the inhabitants who have lost work. It will all depend on the reaction of the authorities and their ability to feed the population, were the main victim of unprecedented in the recent history of crisis.