Author Topic: Agriculture, Farming, Food Chain and Food Politics  (Read 49908 times)


Crafty_Dog

  • Administrator
  • Power User
  • *****
  • Posts: 69662
    • View Profile

Crafty_Dog

  • Administrator
  • Power User
  • *****
  • Posts: 69662
    • View Profile
GPF: Rising Food Prices will shake ME and North Africa
« Reply #102 on: March 10, 2022, 09:17:35 PM »
March 10, 2022
View On Website
Open as PDF

    
Rising Food Prices Will Shake the Middle East and North Africa
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine came at a time when global agriculture and food supply chains were already fragile.
By: Allison Fedirka

The war in Ukraine is exacerbating preexisting problems with global grain supplies and prices. Although higher prices will be felt by all, North African and Middle Eastern countries along the Mediterranean will be more directly and severely affected. Sudden spikes in food prices are directly linked to increased social unrest and conflict. Further, instability in this region could put fertilizer supplies at risk, which would put only more upward pressure on food prices.

Terrible Timing

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine came at a time when global agriculture and food supply chains were already fragile. A drought in 2021 across the U.S. and Canada, two of the world’s largest producers and exporters of wheat and other grains, reduced crop yields. Dryer weather also hurt major agricultural exporters in the Southern Hemisphere, reducing the volume of some grains, such as corn, on the market. Smaller producers like Syria and Iraq also suffered from droughts, reducing their output and increasing import demand. And Russia, the world’s largest wheat exporter, cut its export quota for 2022 to secure domestic supply. Even before the war, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2021-22 global outlook for critical goods like wheat, corn and select oilseeds projected lower supply, higher demand and reduced stocks at the end of the year.

Higher fertilizer prices since the second half of last year were also starting to bite. Russia’s decision at the end of the year to prohibit the export of nitrogen fertilizer until April made things worse, as did China’s move to ban exports of phosphate fertilizer until at least June. The high cost and scarcity of fertilizers at the end of 2021 led many farmers, including those in Ukraine, to plant fewer hectares for the coming season than they had planned. It also affected decisions about which crops to grow – for example, farmers were averse to planting fertilizer-intensive crops such as corn.

The effects of the pandemic on energy and logistics cannot be overlooked either. Restarting economies in 2021 generated higher industrial activity, which pushed up energy prices. This, in turn, pushed up the cost of shipping goods. Additionally, prolonged logistical bottlenecks increased input prices of final products, including food. Although agriculture and food processing labor shortages were much improved in 2021 compared with 2020, there were still production interruptions and calls for higher wages. Simply put, there have been far more factors pushing up food prices than the reverse.

Market Uncertainty

The Ukraine conflict contributes to these price pressures by knocking two major producers of grains, oilseeds and other commodities out of the market and inserting enormous levels of market uncertainty. Together, Russia and Ukraine account for 28.5 percent of global wheat exports, 18.7 percent of corn exports, 29.6 percent of barley exports and 78.3 percent of sunflower oil exports – staples in the human diet and animal feed.

Top Wheat, Corn, Barley, and Sunflower Oil Exporters | 2021
(click to enlarge)

From the first days of the war, Black Sea ports have been closed while Russian warships patrol the area. Then on March 9, Ukraine’s Cabinet passed a resolution banning the export of rye, barley, buckwheat, millet, sugar, salt and meat for the rest of the year. Even before that decision, large shares of Ukraine’s 2021 agricultural production were still awaiting transport: approximately 30 percent of its wheat, 45 percent of its corn and a quarter of its barley and sunflower oil. Now, those goods will not make it to the market in 2022.

Russia is encountering problems of its own. Though Russian ports and shipping lanes are open, Western sanctions have spooked potential buyers, shippers, insurers and so on. Finding enough shipping containers, shipping companies, ports for entry and buyers of any Russian goods has become increasingly difficult – even more so for the commodity trade, which is overwhelmingly conducted in U.S. dollars. Speculation about future sanctions targeting container ships would further jeopardize grain exports. This leaves grain and oilseed importers vulnerable.

Affected Countries

The countries most immediately affected are those that meet two conditions: They are heavily dependent on imports of grains and oilseeds, and they have as their leading suppliers Russia and/or Ukraine. Mediterranean countries in North Africa and the Middle East are first in the line of fire. Egypt and Turkey have suffered the most to date. Turkey relies on imports for 40 percent of its wheat and 33 percent of its corn. Russia and Ukraine combined provide Turkey with 75 percent of its wheat imports and 50 percent of its corn imports (as well as 51 percent of its sunflower oil imports). Similarly, Egypt depends on imports for approximately 60 percent of its wheat and corn consumption, and it gets 86 percent of its wheat imports and 40 percent of its corn imports from Russia and Ukraine combined.

Commodity Imports Dependencies
(click to enlarge)

Turkey was already battling severe inflation, and demonstrations related to the price of basic food goods have occurred. The country’s Agriculture and Forestry Ministry assured the public that grain supplies are secure through the next harvest, but even if that is the case, Ankara has proved unable to tame inflation and stabilize the lira. In other words, it has not found a way to shield the public from higher food prices, particularly those related to imports.

Egypt has already canceled two orders of wheat, citing overpricing in one case and a lack of sellers in the other. The Egyptian government heavily subsidizes wheat products, and previous attempts to curb these subsidies triggered mass unrest. Cairo will face the same choice again in the coming months.

Instability in either of these countries would be alarming given their significance in regional affairs. And neighboring North African and Middle Eastern countries are not faring much better:

In Morocco, severe drought increased Morocco’s dependence on imports, especially of wheat and cooking oil, over the past couple of years. Morocco has a relatively lower import dependence for wheat of about 40 percent, but it relies on imports for nearly all of its corn. Ukraine and Russia provide Morocco with 20 percent of its wheat imports and just under 10 percent of its corn. In late February, a group called the Moroccan Social Front led nationwide demonstrations against rising food prices.
Tunisia relies on Russia and Ukraine for about half its wheat imports and 60 percent of its corn imports. The Tunisian government is now unable to pay for incoming wheat shipments because of drastic price hikes. Widespread shortages of grain products have been reported.
Lebanon gets approximately 45 percent of its cereal imports from Russia and Ukraine. In the past two years, imports have been even more critical for the country. The 2020 Beirut port explosion destroyed most of the country’s primary grain silos, and authorities have been working ever since to compensate for a predicted wheat shortage.
Syria also has a relatively lower dependence on grain imports (approximately 50 percent), but Russia and Ukraine figure prominently in that supply. The two countries provide 61 percent of Syria’s wheat imports, 42 percent of its barley imports and 20 percent of its corn imports. Syria has already started rationing wheat products.
Under these circumstances, and with no sign of improvement in the short term, mass unrest is nearly inevitable.

Future Crops

The conflict in Ukraine could also hurt the production of future grain crops – though the extent to which it will depends on how long the war lasts. The most obvious factor is the destruction of productive farmlands on which the fighting is taking place. Military movements across these areas will not only damage existing crops but could interrupt the planting for next season’s crops. Pesticide and fertilizer application to wheat is supposed to start in March, while tilling resumes late March and early April. The barley harvest runs from March to April. Corn planting takes place in April and early May. If fighting persists for just a few more weeks, it risks disrupting these production processes and jeopardizing future crop production.

Five-Year Production Average of Ukrainian Crops: 2016 - 2020
(click to enlarge)

Fertilizers are also a major concern. The market for fertilizers – especially nitrogen-based fertilizers – is already outpricing certain crops for production. Russian sanctions didn’t affect fertilizer exports simply because they were already off the market as of the end of last year, and there was no guarantee even absent a war that Russia would resume exports come May.

New sanctions have, however, dealt a major blow to fertilizers through Belarus, which provided 17 percent of the world’s potash fertilizer exports. Adding Russia to the mix brings that figure up to 30 percent of potash fertilizer that is no longer available on world markets. And while Russia continues to export gas to Europe, major cuts in Russian gas supply to buyers like Germany, Poland, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Belgium, which together account for 16 percent of nitrogen fertilizer exports, will likewise threaten the market.

Alternative Suppliers

It’s extremely difficult to increase global supply when a major player is taken offline. Grain production, for example, depends on multi-month crop calendars that cannot be rushed. (Governments around the world have strategic grain reserves, but most of them are earmarked for emergency domestic use.) Fertilizer production depends heavily on resource extraction and infrastructure development; a country can’t produce raw materials it doesn’t have, and even if they do, it takes years to develop the facilities to process and export them.

Even so, alternative supplies to grains, oilseeds and fertilizers do exist. For wheat, corn and other grains, the best candidates are the U.S., Canada, Australia, Kazakhstan and Argentina. (Australia had a particularly strong wheat crop to help compensate some supply losses.) And because prices are so high and supplies so low, even smaller producers like Romania, France and India are becoming more competitive. But just because a country can export does not mean they will. Hungary has already banned grain exports to ensure domestic supply, while Argentine wheat farmers have stopped selling their wheat over confusion about pricing and uncertainty.

Fertilizer alternatives are trickier. Many of the countries at immediate risk of instability over food supplies are the same ones that can cushion fertilizer markets. Egypt and Algeria, for example, supply the world export market with 9 percent of nitrogen fertilizers. Algeria is also a major producer of natural gas, a key ingredient for nitrogen fertilizer but one that requires necessary infrastructure. Egypt and Morocco supply over 30 percent of potassium fertilizer exports for the global market. Given the state of the fertilizer market and supplies, stability in these countries becomes increasingly important. Any disruptions to their fertilizer export activity would hit fertilizer markets at a highly vulnerable time.

If there were any doubts over continued high food prices, the war in Ukraine put those doubts to rest. How long the spike will last depends entirely on how long the war lasts. So far, North African and Middle Eastern countries along the Mediterranean have borne the brunt. In turn, this creates the risk of instability in a region where governments were already on weak footing. For the rest of the world, now’s a good time to consider going gluten-free.

G M

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 26643
    • View Profile
Re: GPF: Rising Food Prices will shake ME and North Africa
« Reply #103 on: March 10, 2022, 09:23:03 PM »
High food prices are going to shake the whole world. That includes the US.


March 10, 2022
View On Website
Open as PDF

    
Rising Food Prices Will Shake the Middle East and North Africa
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine came at a time when global agriculture and food supply chains were already fragile.
By: Allison Fedirka

The war in Ukraine is exacerbating preexisting problems with global grain supplies and prices. Although higher prices will be felt by all, North African and Middle Eastern countries along the Mediterranean will be more directly and severely affected. Sudden spikes in food prices are directly linked to increased social unrest and conflict. Further, instability in this region could put fertilizer supplies at risk, which would put only more upward pressure on food prices.

Terrible Timing

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine came at a time when global agriculture and food supply chains were already fragile. A drought in 2021 across the U.S. and Canada, two of the world’s largest producers and exporters of wheat and other grains, reduced crop yields. Dryer weather also hurt major agricultural exporters in the Southern Hemisphere, reducing the volume of some grains, such as corn, on the market. Smaller producers like Syria and Iraq also suffered from droughts, reducing their output and increasing import demand. And Russia, the world’s largest wheat exporter, cut its export quota for 2022 to secure domestic supply. Even before the war, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2021-22 global outlook for critical goods like wheat, corn and select oilseeds projected lower supply, higher demand and reduced stocks at the end of the year.

Higher fertilizer prices since the second half of last year were also starting to bite. Russia’s decision at the end of the year to prohibit the export of nitrogen fertilizer until April made things worse, as did China’s move to ban exports of phosphate fertilizer until at least June. The high cost and scarcity of fertilizers at the end of 2021 led many farmers, including those in Ukraine, to plant fewer hectares for the coming season than they had planned. It also affected decisions about which crops to grow – for example, farmers were averse to planting fertilizer-intensive crops such as corn.

The effects of the pandemic on energy and logistics cannot be overlooked either. Restarting economies in 2021 generated higher industrial activity, which pushed up energy prices. This, in turn, pushed up the cost of shipping goods. Additionally, prolonged logistical bottlenecks increased input prices of final products, including food. Although agriculture and food processing labor shortages were much improved in 2021 compared with 2020, there were still production interruptions and calls for higher wages. Simply put, there have been far more factors pushing up food prices than the reverse.

Market Uncertainty

The Ukraine conflict contributes to these price pressures by knocking two major producers of grains, oilseeds and other commodities out of the market and inserting enormous levels of market uncertainty. Together, Russia and Ukraine account for 28.5 percent of global wheat exports, 18.7 percent of corn exports, 29.6 percent of barley exports and 78.3 percent of sunflower oil exports – staples in the human diet and animal feed.

Top Wheat, Corn, Barley, and Sunflower Oil Exporters | 2021
(click to enlarge)

From the first days of the war, Black Sea ports have been closed while Russian warships patrol the area. Then on March 9, Ukraine’s Cabinet passed a resolution banning the export of rye, barley, buckwheat, millet, sugar, salt and meat for the rest of the year. Even before that decision, large shares of Ukraine’s 2021 agricultural production were still awaiting transport: approximately 30 percent of its wheat, 45 percent of its corn and a quarter of its barley and sunflower oil. Now, those goods will not make it to the market in 2022.

Russia is encountering problems of its own. Though Russian ports and shipping lanes are open, Western sanctions have spooked potential buyers, shippers, insurers and so on. Finding enough shipping containers, shipping companies, ports for entry and buyers of any Russian goods has become increasingly difficult – even more so for the commodity trade, which is overwhelmingly conducted in U.S. dollars. Speculation about future sanctions targeting container ships would further jeopardize grain exports. This leaves grain and oilseed importers vulnerable.

Affected Countries

The countries most immediately affected are those that meet two conditions: They are heavily dependent on imports of grains and oilseeds, and they have as their leading suppliers Russia and/or Ukraine. Mediterranean countries in North Africa and the Middle East are first in the line of fire. Egypt and Turkey have suffered the most to date. Turkey relies on imports for 40 percent of its wheat and 33 percent of its corn. Russia and Ukraine combined provide Turkey with 75 percent of its wheat imports and 50 percent of its corn imports (as well as 51 percent of its sunflower oil imports). Similarly, Egypt depends on imports for approximately 60 percent of its wheat and corn consumption, and it gets 86 percent of its wheat imports and 40 percent of its corn imports from Russia and Ukraine combined.

Commodity Imports Dependencies
(click to enlarge)

Turkey was already battling severe inflation, and demonstrations related to the price of basic food goods have occurred. The country’s Agriculture and Forestry Ministry assured the public that grain supplies are secure through the next harvest, but even if that is the case, Ankara has proved unable to tame inflation and stabilize the lira. In other words, it has not found a way to shield the public from higher food prices, particularly those related to imports.

Egypt has already canceled two orders of wheat, citing overpricing in one case and a lack of sellers in the other. The Egyptian government heavily subsidizes wheat products, and previous attempts to curb these subsidies triggered mass unrest. Cairo will face the same choice again in the coming months.

Instability in either of these countries would be alarming given their significance in regional affairs. And neighboring North African and Middle Eastern countries are not faring much better:

In Morocco, severe drought increased Morocco’s dependence on imports, especially of wheat and cooking oil, over the past couple of years. Morocco has a relatively lower import dependence for wheat of about 40 percent, but it relies on imports for nearly all of its corn. Ukraine and Russia provide Morocco with 20 percent of its wheat imports and just under 10 percent of its corn. In late February, a group called the Moroccan Social Front led nationwide demonstrations against rising food prices.
Tunisia relies on Russia and Ukraine for about half its wheat imports and 60 percent of its corn imports. The Tunisian government is now unable to pay for incoming wheat shipments because of drastic price hikes. Widespread shortages of grain products have been reported.
Lebanon gets approximately 45 percent of its cereal imports from Russia and Ukraine. In the past two years, imports have been even more critical for the country. The 2020 Beirut port explosion destroyed most of the country’s primary grain silos, and authorities have been working ever since to compensate for a predicted wheat shortage.
Syria also has a relatively lower dependence on grain imports (approximately 50 percent), but Russia and Ukraine figure prominently in that supply. The two countries provide 61 percent of Syria’s wheat imports, 42 percent of its barley imports and 20 percent of its corn imports. Syria has already started rationing wheat products.
Under these circumstances, and with no sign of improvement in the short term, mass unrest is nearly inevitable.

Future Crops

The conflict in Ukraine could also hurt the production of future grain crops – though the extent to which it will depends on how long the war lasts. The most obvious factor is the destruction of productive farmlands on which the fighting is taking place. Military movements across these areas will not only damage existing crops but could interrupt the planting for next season’s crops. Pesticide and fertilizer application to wheat is supposed to start in March, while tilling resumes late March and early April. The barley harvest runs from March to April. Corn planting takes place in April and early May. If fighting persists for just a few more weeks, it risks disrupting these production processes and jeopardizing future crop production.

Five-Year Production Average of Ukrainian Crops: 2016 - 2020
(click to enlarge)

Fertilizers are also a major concern. The market for fertilizers – especially nitrogen-based fertilizers – is already outpricing certain crops for production. Russian sanctions didn’t affect fertilizer exports simply because they were already off the market as of the end of last year, and there was no guarantee even absent a war that Russia would resume exports come May.

New sanctions have, however, dealt a major blow to fertilizers through Belarus, which provided 17 percent of the world’s potash fertilizer exports. Adding Russia to the mix brings that figure up to 30 percent of potash fertilizer that is no longer available on world markets. And while Russia continues to export gas to Europe, major cuts in Russian gas supply to buyers like Germany, Poland, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Belgium, which together account for 16 percent of nitrogen fertilizer exports, will likewise threaten the market.

Alternative Suppliers

It’s extremely difficult to increase global supply when a major player is taken offline. Grain production, for example, depends on multi-month crop calendars that cannot be rushed. (Governments around the world have strategic grain reserves, but most of them are earmarked for emergency domestic use.) Fertilizer production depends heavily on resource extraction and infrastructure development; a country can’t produce raw materials it doesn’t have, and even if they do, it takes years to develop the facilities to process and export them.

Even so, alternative supplies to grains, oilseeds and fertilizers do exist. For wheat, corn and other grains, the best candidates are the U.S., Canada, Australia, Kazakhstan and Argentina. (Australia had a particularly strong wheat crop to help compensate some supply losses.) And because prices are so high and supplies so low, even smaller producers like Romania, France and India are becoming more competitive. But just because a country can export does not mean they will. Hungary has already banned grain exports to ensure domestic supply, while Argentine wheat farmers have stopped selling their wheat over confusion about pricing and uncertainty.

Fertilizer alternatives are trickier. Many of the countries at immediate risk of instability over food supplies are the same ones that can cushion fertilizer markets. Egypt and Algeria, for example, supply the world export market with 9 percent of nitrogen fertilizers. Algeria is also a major producer of natural gas, a key ingredient for nitrogen fertilizer but one that requires necessary infrastructure. Egypt and Morocco supply over 30 percent of potassium fertilizer exports for the global market. Given the state of the fertilizer market and supplies, stability in these countries becomes increasingly important. Any disruptions to their fertilizer export activity would hit fertilizer markets at a highly vulnerable time.

If there were any doubts over continued high food prices, the war in Ukraine put those doubts to rest. How long the spike will last depends entirely on how long the war lasts. So far, North African and Middle Eastern countries along the Mediterranean have borne the brunt. In turn, this creates the risk of instability in a region where governments were already on weak footing. For the rest of the world, now’s a good time to consider going gluten-free.



Crafty_Dog

  • Administrator
  • Power User
  • *****
  • Posts: 69662
    • View Profile
GPF
« Reply #106 on: March 12, 2022, 01:34:58 AM »
Export ban. Egypt on Friday banned the export of wheat, beans, lentils, pasta and all types of flour for three months. Egypt has enough wheat stocks to last the next four months. On Thursday, the Egyptian prime minister said the country would move to diversify its wheat suppliers.

Import substitution. Brazil has developed a long-term plan to reduce the country’s dependence on imported fertilizers from 85 percent to around 50-55 percent over the next 30 years. The plan will make more efficient use of existing fertilizer plants, improve conditions to attract investments, create a competitive advantage in fertilizer production, increase investments in RD&I and improve logistics. The country relies on imports for 95.7 percent of its nitrogen, 72 percent of its phosphate and 96.4 percent of its potassium.

Crafty_Dog

  • Administrator
  • Power User
  • *****
  • Posts: 69662
    • View Profile
MY: Diesel and food
« Reply #107 on: March 18, 2022, 07:43:11 AM »
Do not agree with every single snark in here, but the gist is on target.

https://michaelyon.locals.com/upost/1865206/diesel-crisis-food-crisis
« Last Edit: March 18, 2022, 08:05:13 AM by Crafty_Dog »

G M

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 26643
    • View Profile

Crafty_Dog

  • Administrator
  • Power User
  • *****
  • Posts: 69662
    • View Profile
« Last Edit: March 18, 2022, 07:39:02 PM by Crafty_Dog »

Crafty_Dog

  • Administrator
  • Power User
  • *****
  • Posts: 69662
    • View Profile
GPF
« Reply #110 on: March 18, 2022, 08:50:23 PM »
second

March 18, 2022
View On Website
Open as PDF

    
The Ukraine War's Effects on Global Food Supplies
Governments are scrambling for new suppliers, but market volatility means not everyone is willing to sell.
By: Geopolitical Futures
The World's Burgeoning Food Crisis
(click to enlarge)

Record food prices and disrupted grain supply due to the war in Ukraine bode poorly for global food security. Ukraine and Russia are both top grain exporters, but the closing of Ukrainian ports and sanctioning of Russian trade are causing severe market disruption. Fighting and cold weather has also interrupted Ukraine’s March to early April sowing campaigns, which could impact future exports as well.

Governments are now scrambling to secure new suppliers, but market volatility means not everyone is willing to sell. The impact has been felt severely among less wealthy countries with high dependence on Russian and Ukrainian grain imports, namely the Middle East and North Africa. Shortages and high prices make securing sufficient supplies difficult, and those countries that cannot find alternatives or funds are at high risk of social unrest.

The scenario has also led to unusual new behaviors in grain markets. Indian wheat, for example, now finds itself competitive enough for exports. Record-high wheat and corn prices are pushing Chinese importers to turn to rice as an animal feed substitute. This is fueling domestic price rises in India and Thailand, and increased pressure on global rice inventories. A spike in rice demand, and subsequently higher prices, would spell trouble for pricing access to two of the world’s largest food staples, wheat and rice.

Crafty_Dog

  • Administrator
  • Power User
  • *****
  • Posts: 69662
    • View Profile

Crafty_Dog

  • Administrator
  • Power User
  • *****
  • Posts: 69662
    • View Profile

Crafty_Dog

  • Administrator
  • Power User
  • *****
  • Posts: 69662
    • View Profile
Re: Agriculture, Farming, Food Chain and Food Politics
« Reply #113 on: March 25, 2022, 04:34:41 AM »
Food concerns
As wheat and corn futures continue to surge, and fertilizer prices ride the commodity boom, some investors are reaping big gains. Compared with the nearly 6% YTD loss of the S&P 500, shares of the top three U.S.-listed fertilizer producers are having a great year. Mosaic (NYSE:MOS) is up a staggering 70%, CF Industries (NYSE:CF) is ahead by 50%, while Nutrien (NYSE:NTR) is up 40% - and the first quarter is not even finished yet.

Not all is well: The fertilizer shortage comes at a time when Northern Hemisphere producers are preparing for spring planting, according to Ben Maddox, Director of Farm Operations for AcreTrader. That could reduce crop yields across the board, with some farmers not even able to get their hands on fertilizer. Supply shortages continue for ingredients like nitrogen, phosphate and potash, while the crisis in Ukraine is compounding the problem, throwing a wrench into global food supply.

"With regards to food shortages, it's going to be real," President Biden declared after meeting with NATO allies in Brussels, adding that Russia and Ukraine are the breadbasket of Europe. "The price of these sanctions is not just imposed on Russia, it is imposed on an awful lot of countries as well, including European countries and the U.S." Biden also related that the G7 had discussions on ways to "increase and disseminate more rapidly" grain from America and Canada, while European nations were urged to end limitations on sending food abroad.

Outlook: "This is a really big deal, because when that volume of calories comes out of the food chain, it triggers other things. Not only hunger, but unrest," AGCO (NYSE:AGCO) CEO Eric Hansotia told CNBC. "The last time we had this kind of disruption, it was one of the major triggers for the Arab Spring, and it's because a lot of this food goes to areas like North Africa, the Middle East, or places where the cost of food is a large portion of the income of that population." (8 comments)

G M

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 26643
    • View Profile
Got food? Ready for the global s-storm?
« Reply #114 on: March 25, 2022, 10:25:43 AM »
http://ace.mu.nu/archives/398375.php

Better be as ready as possible.

Historic times, not the good kind.

Crafty_Dog

  • Administrator
  • Power User
  • *****
  • Posts: 69662
    • View Profile


Crafty_Dog

  • Administrator
  • Power User
  • *****
  • Posts: 69662
    • View Profile


DougMacG

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 18363
    • View Profile
Re: ND approves huge Gates' farmland purchase
« Reply #119 on: July 02, 2022, 05:42:39 AM »
https://www.theepochtimes.com/north-dakota-gives-green-light-to-bill-gates-farmland-purchase_4571287.html?utm_source=Morningbrief-ai&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=mb-2022-07-02-ai&est=ATroLc0dcskOzTCwRsBPWWtcXANUzANenjpBSFFR%2BgWg%2Bda3SHtq36VSiYKS3T7spO86

Bill Gates taking our G M's advice.  Famous people caught reading the forum?

Alternate explanation:  Melinda got the house?

[I hate to say, $13.5 million, 2100 acres, out of 27.5 million acres farmed, is not a massive land purchase, not for Bill Gates or N.D.]
« Last Edit: July 02, 2022, 05:51:52 AM by DougMacG »

Crafty_Dog

  • Administrator
  • Power User
  • *****
  • Posts: 69662
    • View Profile
ET: New Generation of Livestock Drugs
« Reply #120 on: July 04, 2022, 05:26:51 AM »
New Generation of Livestock Drugs Linked to Cancer
As US regulators restrict antibiotic use, livestock producers turn to vaccines, hormones, and other problematic drugs
BY MARTHA ROSENBERG TIMEJUNE 5, 2022 PRINT
Many people know about the routine use of antibiotics in livestock production—and object to it. The drugs are profitable to meat producers because they cause animals to gain more weight with less feed and prevent the outbreak of disease in often cramped concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFOS) conditions.

In 2017, the Food and Drug Administration began regulatory measures to prevent the use of livestock antibiotics for growth purposes and recently finalized the guidances. Injudicious antibiotic use drives the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.


As the extent of antibiotic residues and antibiotic-resistant bacteria in meat has been revealed, there has been a public backlash against the drugs’ use, resulting in some meat producers labeling their products “raised without antibiotics.” The problem consumers are unaware that other drugs are now being used in meat production and left off the labels. Worse, in an effort to reduce the publicly spurned antibiotics, meat producers are turning to vaccines.

“Vaccines and other alternative products can help minimize the need for antibiotics by preventing and controlling infectious diseases in animal populations, and are central to the future success of animal agriculture,” read a 2018 article in Veterinary Research.

How prevalent are livestock vaccines? Drugmaker Merck markets 58 poultry vaccines for diseases that food consumers neither know about nor probably want to know about like coccidiosis, infectious bronchitis, Newcastle disease, infectious laryngotracheitis, mycoplasma gallisepticum, Marek’s disease (chicken herpes), infectious bursal disease, hemorrhagic enteritis, rhinotracheitis (turkey coryza), avian encephalomyelitis, fowl pox, and more.

In addition to vaccines for cattle, swine, and fish, food animals are also vaccinated as embryos.

By 2020, the animal vaccine market was estimated to be $7.2 billion.

In Ovo Vaccination

More than 90 percent of broiler chickens in the United States are vaccinated “in ovo,” according to research published in Veterinary Research in 2018. That means they are vaccinated as embryos in the egg. Vaccines are either directly injected into the embryo or into the amniotic cavity of the egg.  But like human vaccines, the technology has its risks.

The authors of the Veterinary Research study report that the mass routine vaccination at the hatchery, “is labor-intensive, causes stress for the chicks, and high sanitary standards need to be followed during vaccine preparation and injection to manage infection risks.” Injecting vaccines at the wrong stage of embryonic development can be disastrous, they write, giving the example of 1o- to 12-day-old embryos who were injected with turkey herpes virus too early and developed lesions and died.

Are poultry and other food animal vaccines residues in the meat? Possibly. Researchers writing in the Archives of Virology in 2011 advised that a “vaccine, particularly if injected subcutaneously, should be introduced into an area of the animal not used for human consumption such as behind the animal’s ear or in the area of the chest wall behind the elbow.” That way, wrote the researchers, “if there is any residual vaccine left or any reaction to it, there will be neither involvement of an edible part of the carcass nor trim losses in food animals.”

Unlabeled Hormones

Have you ever heard of oestradiol-17, zeranol, trenbolone acetate, and melengestrol acetate? Probably not but they are hormones routinely used in U.S. cattle for growth production.

Much of the European Union looks askance at these hormonal drugs. According to the EU’s Scientific Committee on Veterinary Measures Relating to Public Health, “Misplaced [hormonal] implants and repeated implanting, which seem to occur frequently, represent a considerable risk that highly contaminated meats could enter the food chain.”

The EU Scientific Committee also wrote that “the highest rates of breast cancer are observed in North America, where hormone-treated meat consumption is highest in the world…Prostate cancer shows similar variations…[and] is comparable to that of breast cancer.”  These cancers are known to be hormone-dependent or hormonally mediated.

Scientists writing in the journal Anticancer Research say the hormone zeranol may “play a critical role in mammary tumorigenesis” and “be a risk factor for breast cancer.”

Few in the U.S. are aware that other countries reject U.S. hormone-raised beef. According to the Library of Congress, “The United States and the European Union (EU) have engaged in a long-standing and acrimonious trade dispute over the EU’s decision to ban hormone-treated meat.” The conflicts intensified when, in 2009, the U.S. Trade Representative announced its intent to increase tariffs on some products. The EU claimed this constituted an “escalation” of the dispute.

As the United Kingdom prepared to leave the EU, the London-based Food Research Collaboration wrote, “there is a risk that food standards may be sacrificed to win trade agreements with non-EU states such as the USA. This report looks at the case of hormone-treated beef, which is permitted in the U.S., but which the EU refuses to import. The World Trade Organization has accepted the EU’s refusal to import hormone-reared beef. The report shows that at least one of the hormones routinely used in US beef production has been judged to be a significant cancer risk by the EU.”

China also restricts “beef from cattle implanted with growth promoting hormones,” says the University of Minnesota Extension, a research and outreach partnership between the university and the state, federal and county governments.  The Extension defends the drugs as promoting sustainability, and as natural as hormones found in plants.

A Problematic Growth Drug
Not many people are aware of ractopamine either—an asthma-like drug designed to add weight to livestock but banned in 160 countries by 2014. In an early Canadian study, monkeys given ractopamine “developed daily tachycardia”—rapid heartbeat. Rats fed ractopamine developed a constellation of birth defects like cleft palate, protruding tongue, short limbs, missing digits, open eyelids, and enlarged heart.

In Taipei City, Taiwan in 2007, 3,500 pig farmers gathered at the Department of Health and Council of Agriculture to protest the possible lifting of a ractopamine ban, Taiwan News reported. Chanting, “We refuse to eat pork that contains poisonous ractopamine,” and “Get out, USA pork” protesters threw eggs at police, soldiers, and reporters and pig dung at government buildings.

According to Temple Grandin, the famed American scientist and animal behaviorist concerned with humane slaughter, the “indiscriminant use of the beta-adrenergic agonist Paylean (ractopamine) has contributed to an increase in downer non-ambulatory pigs,” and pigs that “are extremely difficult to move and drive.”

“All of the studies showed that beta-agonists greatly increased muscle mass and the area of the loin. The cost of this increased amount of meat is poorer meat quality and bad effects on animal welfare unless beta-agonists are used very carefully,” Temple adds.

An article in the 2003 Journal of Animal Science confirms that “ractopamine does affect the behavior, heart rate and catecholamine profile of finishing pigs and making them more difficult to handle and potentially more susceptible to handling and transport stress.”

In Holsteins, ractopamine is known for causing hoof problems, Grandin says, and feedlot managers report the “outer shell of the hoof fell off” on a related drug, zilpateral, which is marketed as Zilmax.

In 2014, the Center for Food Safety and Animal Legal Defense Fund sued the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for withholding information about ractopamine’s effects on “animal or human liver form and function, kidney form and function, thyroid form and function,” urethral and prostate effects and “tumor development.”

Conclusion

Thanks to consumer pressure, some meat sellers are producing their products without antibiotics. However, if they are replacing the controversial drugs with vaccines, is that really better? Moreover, the copious use of hormones and ractopamine, not on the label, should also be concerning to health-conscious food consumers.

Martha Rosenberg is a nationally recognized reporter and author whose work has been cited by the Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Public Library of Science Biology, and National Geographic. Rosenberg’s FDA expose, “Born with a Junk Food Deficiency,” established her as a prominent investigative journalist. She has lectured widely at universities throughout the United States and resides in Chicago

Crafty_Dog

  • Administrator
  • Power User
  • *****
  • Posts: 69662
    • View Profile

Crafty_Dog

  • Administrator
  • Power User
  • *****
  • Posts: 69662
    • View Profile
UN 2030 Agenda behind Farming Restrictions
« Reply #122 on: July 21, 2022, 02:16:25 PM »
Alex Newman Explains UN Agenda 2030 Behind Farming Restrictions
By Ella Kietlinska and Joshua Philipp July 20, 2022 Updated: July 20, 2022 biggersmaller Print


The United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for sustainable development informs government policies to restrict farming and transform the food systems in different parts of the world, said Alex Newman, an award-winning international journalist who has covered this issue for over a decade.

The 2030 Agenda is a plan of action devised by the United Nations (U.N.) to achieve 17 sustainable development goals (SDG). The goals and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development were adopted by all UN member states in 2015.

Then-Secretary General of the U.N. Ban Ki-moon called the 2030 Agenda “the global declaration of interdependence,” (pdf) Newman said in a recent interview on EpochTV’s “Crossroads” program.

“In my opinion, [it] was a direct swipe at our Declaration of Independence … So instead of being independent nations, we will all be now interdependent.”

The 2030 Agenda “covers every element of human life, every element of the economy,” including global wealth redistribution not only within the nations but also among the nations, Newman commented. The Agenda “specifically says that we need to change the way that we consume and produce goods,” he added.

Goal number two on the 2030 Agenda deals specifically with food, Newman said.

In September 2021, the U.N. held the Food Systems Summit, which emphasized the need “to leverage the power of food systems” for the purpose of achieving all 17 sustainable development goals by 2030, according to a U.N. statement.

“Everyone, everywhere, must take action and work together to transform the way the world produces, consumes, and thinks about food,” the statement said.

Taking Over Farmland
The sustainable development agenda emerged in the 1970s when the United Nations tried to define it at a conference in Vancouver, Canada, in 1976. Newman said.

The conference, which was the first U.N. Conference on Human Settlements known as Habitat I, adopted the Vancouver Declaration (pdf), a report that provided recommendations for U.N. member states.

Newman quoted an excerpt from this report: “Land cannot be treated as an ordinary asset controlled by individuals and subject to the pressures and inefficiencies of the market. Private land ownership is also a principal instrument of accumulation and concentration of wealth, therefore contributes to social injustice.”

Newman said that, in his view, the U.N. ultimately wants to get rid of private land ownership. “We see this all over the world. This is not just happening in the Netherlands.”

He thinks that a war is taking place against farmers and ranchers, especially those who are independent or those who are not part of the system. “They want to remove small farmers, even medium farmers, from their land, and they want to bring it all under the control of these—I think there’s no other term to describe it—fascistic public-private partnerships.”

Newman noted some examples to illustrate his opinion: The Chinese regime forces peasants to move to megacities, farmers are killed in South Africa, and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the United States proposed a new rule that could bankrupt small and medium farmers.

In March 2022, the SEC proposed a regulation that “would mandate publicly traded companies to report on their carbon emissions and other climate-related information,” as well as report similar information from any companies with which they do business, according to an SEC statement.

As a consequence, all companies in the business supply chain of a publicly traded entity would have to report their carbon emission and climate-related data.

U.S. Sens. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and John Hoeven (R-N.D.) led 30 lawmakers to urge SEC to repeal its proposal, calling it a “regulatory overreach.”

”Imposing regulatory overreach on farmers and ranchers falls outside of the SEC’s congressionally provided authority,” the senators said in a statement. “This substantial reporting requirement would significantly burden small, family-owned farms.”

The American Farm Bureau Federation said in a statement that the proposed rule could create “substantial costs” for farmers because they do not have teams of compliance officers or attorneys like large corporations. Moreover, it may push out of business small and medium-sized farmers and force food-processing companies to look for agricultural raw products outside of the United States, the statement asserted.

Centralizing Food Supply
1.tagreuters.com2022binary_LYNXMPEI6B10I-FILEDIMAGE
People shop in a supermarket as inflation affects consumer prices in New York on June 10, 2022. (Andrew Kelly/Reuters)
 “If you control the food supply, you control everything,” Newman said.

“One of the things that the communists loved to do is create scarcity and create dependents. As long as you have independent people who are able to take care of themselves, there really is no need for the government to run your life and to control everything that you do,” Newman said.

“Americans are good examples,” Newman continued. “As long as the food production is widely diffused, and it’s in the hands of independent producers, it becomes very difficult to get people to bend to your will.”

The whole idea of using food as a weapon has been a hallmark of communist regimes for 100 years, Newman explained. “It’s also been a hallmark of the very same people who are openly promoting the U.N. Agenda 2030, the sustainable development goals, and even the World Economic Forum.”

Those who contrived “the controlled demolition of our food supply … want to completely restructure it,” in order to gain total centralized control of that because it gives them absolute power over everybody under their jurisdiction, Newman said.

For example, the Chinese regime and the mega-corporations formed a public-private partnership to centralize control of the food supply, Newman said.

It’s similar to what occurred in Nazi Germany, where on paper private companies own the business and ostensibly manage their businesses, but, ultimately, the private companies will be taking their orders from the government, Newman explained.

In the United States, the ESG metrics are used to “hijack control of the business sector, of the individual companies, and put them at the service of the goals of what I call the predator class—the people behind the World Economic Forum, behind the United Nations,” Newman said. (ESG stands for environmental, social, and governance criteria that are used to evaluate companies on how compliant they are with sustainability.)

The food supply centralization is just one component of their agenda, but it is a very critical one, which along with energy and other things, allows them to control humanity, he added.

In January 2021, the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the government of the Netherlands launched a new initiative called Food Innovation Hub, according to a WEF statement. The Hub, joined by several public and private sector partners, is a key platform that will use technology and innovations for food systems transformation, the statement said.

The Food Innovation Hub secured “multiyear funding “ from the Netherlands’ government and established its Global Coordinating Secretariat that would coordinate the efforts of the regional food hubs as well as align with global food processes and initiatives such as the UN Food Systems Summit, the statement read.

The global food Secretariat would be located in Wageningen, Netherlands, at the heart of the Dutch agrifood ecosystem, and would direct the development of global, regional Food Innovation Hubs, according to the “Invest in Holland” website.

“The work of these regional hubs is already underway, with more than 20 organizations leading the initiative across Africa, ASEAN [Association of Southeast Asian Nations], Colombia, and India, and the European hub,” the website said.

Ramon Laguarta, CEO of PepsiCo, said in the WEF statement: “Food is one of the main levers we can pull to improve environmental and societal health. With the right investment, innovation, and robust collaboration, agriculture could become the world’s first sector to become carbon negative. … Unlocking this potential will take ambitious multi-stakeholder, pre-competitive collaborations to transform the food system—exactly what these Hubs are designed to cultivate.”

Among the solutions advocated by the WEF to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions is replacing livestock-derived foods with alternative forms of protein, such as insects, and lab-cultured proteins, according to a 2019 white paper (pdf) commissioned by the WEF.


In response to this recommendation, several indoor agriculture start-ups have emerged, including Ÿnsect, “the first fully automated vertical insect farm in the world, able to produce 100,000 tons of insect products a year,” a WEF report said.

In March, France-based Ÿnsect acquired Jord Producers, a U.S. mealworm manufacturer, to expand its operations in the United States by entering the American chicken feed market, said a company statement.

How People Can Stop Food Takeover

If people want to prevent food supply from being used as a tool to control them, they need to find alternative sources of food locally, Newman said. “You need to have a relationship with the local farmers in your community, get to the local farmers market, deal with the local farmers, come up with some agreement,” such as getting delivery of fresh, seasonal produce from the local farms for 100 bucks a week, he said.

“We need to really start providing an alternative economic structure, because if we let them get control of the entire food supply, I guarantee you, it will be used as a weapon to take your freedom, to get you to do things you otherwise wouldn’t want to do, to undermine the sovereignty of your nation, whether you’re in the United States or another country, and ultimately to dispossess people of their private land and of their freedom.”

“If you have agricultural land, do not sell out to these people. They’re trying to bribe the farmers to leave their land.
Modify message

Crafty_Dog

  • Administrator
  • Power User
  • *****
  • Posts: 69662
    • View Profile
Why is China so Obsessed with Food Security
« Reply #123 on: September 02, 2022, 05:06:00 AM »
Why is China so Obsessed With Food Security?
And what does that say about the world’s future?

N.S. Lyons
Sep 1   

Comment
Share

China is obsessed with food security. You might not realize just how obsessed: stockpiling rapidly, by the end of the year China – with its 20% of the world’s population – is projected to have accumulated and stashed away some 65% of the world's corn and 53% of the world's wheat.

As far as China’s leaders are concerned, this is insufficient. In June, China’s State Council released emergency measures aiming to further shore up food supplies and drive down prices, pledging huge agricultural subsidies and massive logistics investments, and pushing local governments to accumulate even greater state grain reserves. Premier Li Keqiang (China’s #2 leader) went on record to threaten that “every level of government” must work to maximize agricultural yield this year, and that those officials who fail to do so “will be held accountable.” A national Food Security Law is about to be published, reinforcing the decision that food production and agriculture protections is now a top national security imperative (a national Energy Security Law will also soon be published).

Why the single-minded urgency? Now you, not being an idiot, might say, “No shit Sherlock Holmes: thanks to the war in Ukraine, sanctions on Russia, and the tragic lasting consequences of covid-lockdowns, the world is entering what the head of the UN World Food Program recently called the worst two-year period of food crisis since WWII, with some 49 million people now at imminent risk of starving to death and at least 323 million in a state of such ‘acute food insecurity’ that they are ‘marching toward starvation,’ so of course the Chinese are reasonable to be worried about food.”

You would of course be right about that; and in fact China, having already suffered first historic flooding and then historic drought, is this year also facing a wheat harvest that the country’s minister of agriculture described as being in the “worst condition in history.” There is all that.

But Chinese President Xi Jinping’s paranoia about food security dates to well before the current crisis began. In August 2020 Xi launched a nation-wide campaign to reduce food waste (dubbed “operation empty plates”), while stressing “the need to maintain a sense of crisis regarding food security.”

Then China’s all-important 14th Five-Year Plan for 2021-2025, released in March 2021, described food security as a “prerequisite” for national security and set a national food security target for the first time, at 650 million tons of grain per year. Protections to strictly maintain a “red line” of 120 million hectares of minimum farmland (first set in 2007) were enhanced. While Dutch authorities have been shooting protesting farmers to seize their farmland and build apartment buildings, China has been busy bulldozing half-built suburbs and dismantling ill-considered solar farms that threaten productive agricultural land and water resources.

Share

In August 2021, the Party approved a new action plan for the seed industry. According to Xi, China’s “seed sources must be independent and under better control, and seed industry technology must be self-reliant.”

In December 2021, China initiated ambitious plans to set aside arable land to grow soybeans, a crop it had almost completely abandoned after its 2001 entry into the WTO, with a target of raising output by 40% over the next four years, including by utilizing (domestically) genetically engineered crops for the first time. “The Chinese people’s rice bowl must be firmly held in their own hands at all times, and that rice bowl must mainly contain Chinese grain,” Xi told a top-level officials at a meeting related to the plan.

Then, in March of this year, China’s the National Development and Reform Commission published orders to begin rapidly stockpiling fertilizer supplies. Xi devoted an entire speech that month to berating cadres to “not slacken our efforts on food security” in the least, while Premier Li insisted that, “We must address uncertainty in the external environment with the certainty of stable domestic [agricultural] production,” saying, “This is critical to stability of prices, of the economy, and of all of society.”

And they’re still at it this summer and fall. But what prompted all this, exactly?

Well one clue is a report prepared by China's intelligence agencies, the Ministry of Public Security and Ministry of State Security, that according to the sources of Japan’s Nikkei, “sent shock waves through the State Council, China's cabinet, in April.” The report, analyzing sanctions, blockades, and other measures the United States and its allies might take in response to a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, concluded that China faced at least one critical national weak point: “There is a high risk of facing a food crisis,” it warned.

You see, China may be home to one-fifth of the world’s population, but it contains only about 7% of the world’s arable land. And the percentage of land in China suitable for cultivation shrank from 19% in 2010 to only 13% in 2020, amid urbanization and widespread pollution of soil and water. Remarkably, China still manages to produce 95% of its primary grain (wheat and rice) needs, in part through efficient production. China’s wheat production per hectare is almost 50% higher than the United States (though almost half that of the world’s most efficient, the Netherlands).

Nonetheless, China has steadily been driven to rely more and more heavily on imports to meet food demand. That 5% shortfall still makes China one of the world’s largest wheat importers. And while China only imports 10% of its corn, that still makes it the world’s largest corn importer, and it is the largest barley and oilseed importer as well (importing 100 million tons of the latter annually). Most importantly, China consumes nearly 120 million tons of soybeans a year – nearly the size of the entire U.S. soybean crop – but must import more than 100 million tons of that annually, or about 62% of all the soybeans traded internationally. About 30% of those imports come from the United States, much of the rest from Brazil. Without soy (itself important in the Chinese diet), much of China’s key protein source, its huge pork industry (by far the largest in the world), would collapse.

The vast majority of these food imports (like 80% of China’s oil and much of its other resources) arrive in China by sea after traversing lengthy supply routes across the Pacific or through the Indian Ocean. This would make them exceptionally easy to blockade or otherwise interrupt. None of China’s efforts over the last decade to buy up resources around the world, including farmland, have helped solve this conundrum.

The truth is that China is in a sense the opposite of Russia: it’s a vast importer of energy, food, and other commodities, taking all of these resources in and pumping out much of the world’s industrial product. This makes it far less self-sufficient (though also hugely more important to the global economy). And in short, as things stand, if China went to war with the U.S. over Taiwan or some other issue, millions of Chinese people would very quickly face a real risk of starvation, no matter the damage cutting off China from the global economy would also do to its enemies. Beijing must solve this problem before can attempt any such adventures.

But, again, China has been obsessed with food security for years, so this one report from early this year can’t be the only cause. China’s leaders have of course been aware of this problem for decades. Nor is the risk of a specific major conflict the only issue, in my view. The real problem is significantly broader and deeper than that.

The reality, which China’s leaders appear to have grasped at least since the outbreak of the U.S.-China trade war in 2018, is that the golden age of globalization is now over. That era, defined by a truly global marketplace, and by globe-spanning supply chains, was built on the transient peace of a global order produced by hegemonic post-Cold War American power. Now that global order is falling apart, and the world and its once-global market is fragmenting into blocs and spheres of influence. Despite the ambitious efforts of the globalists at Davos, it is nationalism and regionalism that is everywhere succeeding in reasserting itself. In this environment, complex, world-spanning supply chains may soon no longer be sustainable given the growing (and already demonstrable) risks involved. We instead seem to be moving quickly toward a future of regional and separated supply chains, shorter shipping routes, built-in redundancies, and greater national protectionism and self-sufficiency. Necessary as this may be, it will have serious consequences for a world economy based on shipping everything from one corner of the planet to another.

In 2017, Xi Jinping traveled to Davos and delivered a speech portraying China as the world’s new champion of globalization. This wasn’t a completely implausible claim. No country in the world has benefitted more from globalization than China. Globalization is the machine that allowed it to implement the most rapid and wide-scale industrialization in history, lift hundreds of millions of its people out of poverty, and become the near-superpower it is today. But, since 2020, Xi appears to have largely given up on trying to save globalization and accepted the inevitable – the foreseeable future will be defined by a global struggle between China and the United States, along with the actions of every enterprising opportunist on the margins. China’s new overriding goal is therefore to achieve “self-reliance” amid what Xi has described repeatedly as a period of “changes in the world unseen in a century.”

As Xi put it in an article published in May, “the international situation is complicated and severe,” and in this context, “In the future, the demand for food will continue to increase, and the balance between supply and demand will become tighter and tighter.” Which is why, as he put it in his speech in March, China “cannot rely solely on the international market to solve” its food security problem anymore.

What China’s leaders seem to have recognized some time ago, then, is the same hard truth that European leaders are only now waking up to.

Two weeks ago, France’s President Emmanuel Macron gave a speech in which he said he believed that, “What we are currently living through is a kind of major tipping point or a great upheaval,”¹ in which “we are living [through] the end of what could have seemed an era of abundance… the end of the abundance of products of technologies that seemed always available… the end of the abundance of land and materials including water.” He received a lot of understandable public backlash for this, in that his objective was to call on the struggling common people to get used to “making sacrifices” while he and his fellow elites will of course do no such thing. But in a real sense Macron may be right: the age of abundance and easy living is probably over – at least for a decade or three.

China clearly thinks so, anyway, and is determined to be prepared to live in this new world as it is. What’s troubling is that so many of our leaders in the West still clearly are not.

“How many days have passed since the Chinese people were hungry? In the past, who didn’t go hungry?” Xi mused in remarks to his comrades in March. But then, for most people, “it’s easy to forget,” he said.

G M

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 26643
    • View Profile
Re: Why is China so Obsessed with Food Security
« Reply #124 on: September 02, 2022, 07:01:33 AM »
A lesson everyone should be taking active steps towards.


Why is China so Obsessed With Food Security?
And what does that say about the world’s future?

N.S. Lyons
Sep 1   

Comment
Share

China is obsessed with food security. You might not realize just how obsessed: stockpiling rapidly, by the end of the year China – with its 20% of the world’s population – is projected to have accumulated and stashed away some 65% of the world's corn and 53% of the world's wheat.

As far as China’s leaders are concerned, this is insufficient. In June, China’s State Council released emergency measures aiming to further shore up food supplies and drive down prices, pledging huge agricultural subsidies and massive logistics investments, and pushing local governments to accumulate even greater state grain reserves. Premier Li Keqiang (China’s #2 leader) went on record to threaten that “every level of government” must work to maximize agricultural yield this year, and that those officials who fail to do so “will be held accountable.” A national Food Security Law is about to be published, reinforcing the decision that food production and agriculture protections is now a top national security imperative (a national Energy Security Law will also soon be published).

Why the single-minded urgency? Now you, not being an idiot, might say, “No shit Sherlock Holmes: thanks to the war in Ukraine, sanctions on Russia, and the tragic lasting consequences of covid-lockdowns, the world is entering what the head of the UN World Food Program recently called the worst two-year period of food crisis since WWII, with some 49 million people now at imminent risk of starving to death and at least 323 million in a state of such ‘acute food insecurity’ that they are ‘marching toward starvation,’ so of course the Chinese are reasonable to be worried about food.”

You would of course be right about that; and in fact China, having already suffered first historic flooding and then historic drought, is this year also facing a wheat harvest that the country’s minister of agriculture described as being in the “worst condition in history.” There is all that.

But Chinese President Xi Jinping’s paranoia about food security dates to well before the current crisis began. In August 2020 Xi launched a nation-wide campaign to reduce food waste (dubbed “operation empty plates”), while stressing “the need to maintain a sense of crisis regarding food security.”

Then China’s all-important 14th Five-Year Plan for 2021-2025, released in March 2021, described food security as a “prerequisite” for national security and set a national food security target for the first time, at 650 million tons of grain per year. Protections to strictly maintain a “red line” of 120 million hectares of minimum farmland (first set in 2007) were enhanced. While Dutch authorities have been shooting protesting farmers to seize their farmland and build apartment buildings, China has been busy bulldozing half-built suburbs and dismantling ill-considered solar farms that threaten productive agricultural land and water resources.

Share

In August 2021, the Party approved a new action plan for the seed industry. According to Xi, China’s “seed sources must be independent and under better control, and seed industry technology must be self-reliant.”

In December 2021, China initiated ambitious plans to set aside arable land to grow soybeans, a crop it had almost completely abandoned after its 2001 entry into the WTO, with a target of raising output by 40% over the next four years, including by utilizing (domestically) genetically engineered crops for the first time. “The Chinese people’s rice bowl must be firmly held in their own hands at all times, and that rice bowl must mainly contain Chinese grain,” Xi told a top-level officials at a meeting related to the plan.

Then, in March of this year, China’s the National Development and Reform Commission published orders to begin rapidly stockpiling fertilizer supplies. Xi devoted an entire speech that month to berating cadres to “not slacken our efforts on food security” in the least, while Premier Li insisted that, “We must address uncertainty in the external environment with the certainty of stable domestic [agricultural] production,” saying, “This is critical to stability of prices, of the economy, and of all of society.”

And they’re still at it this summer and fall. But what prompted all this, exactly?

Well one clue is a report prepared by China's intelligence agencies, the Ministry of Public Security and Ministry of State Security, that according to the sources of Japan’s Nikkei, “sent shock waves through the State Council, China's cabinet, in April.” The report, analyzing sanctions, blockades, and other measures the United States and its allies might take in response to a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, concluded that China faced at least one critical national weak point: “There is a high risk of facing a food crisis,” it warned.

You see, China may be home to one-fifth of the world’s population, but it contains only about 7% of the world’s arable land. And the percentage of land in China suitable for cultivation shrank from 19% in 2010 to only 13% in 2020, amid urbanization and widespread pollution of soil and water. Remarkably, China still manages to produce 95% of its primary grain (wheat and rice) needs, in part through efficient production. China’s wheat production per hectare is almost 50% higher than the United States (though almost half that of the world’s most efficient, the Netherlands).

Nonetheless, China has steadily been driven to rely more and more heavily on imports to meet food demand. That 5% shortfall still makes China one of the world’s largest wheat importers. And while China only imports 10% of its corn, that still makes it the world’s largest corn importer, and it is the largest barley and oilseed importer as well (importing 100 million tons of the latter annually). Most importantly, China consumes nearly 120 million tons of soybeans a year – nearly the size of the entire U.S. soybean crop – but must import more than 100 million tons of that annually, or about 62% of all the soybeans traded internationally. About 30% of those imports come from the United States, much of the rest from Brazil. Without soy (itself important in the Chinese diet), much of China’s key protein source, its huge pork industry (by far the largest in the world), would collapse.

The vast majority of these food imports (like 80% of China’s oil and much of its other resources) arrive in China by sea after traversing lengthy supply routes across the Pacific or through the Indian Ocean. This would make them exceptionally easy to blockade or otherwise interrupt. None of China’s efforts over the last decade to buy up resources around the world, including farmland, have helped solve this conundrum.

The truth is that China is in a sense the opposite of Russia: it’s a vast importer of energy, food, and other commodities, taking all of these resources in and pumping out much of the world’s industrial product. This makes it far less self-sufficient (though also hugely more important to the global economy). And in short, as things stand, if China went to war with the U.S. over Taiwan or some other issue, millions of Chinese people would very quickly face a real risk of starvation, no matter the damage cutting off China from the global economy would also do to its enemies. Beijing must solve this problem before can attempt any such adventures.

But, again, China has been obsessed with food security for years, so this one report from early this year can’t be the only cause. China’s leaders have of course been aware of this problem for decades. Nor is the risk of a specific major conflict the only issue, in my view. The real problem is significantly broader and deeper than that.

The reality, which China’s leaders appear to have grasped at least since the outbreak of the U.S.-China trade war in 2018, is that the golden age of globalization is now over. That era, defined by a truly global marketplace, and by globe-spanning supply chains, was built on the transient peace of a global order produced by hegemonic post-Cold War American power. Now that global order is falling apart, and the world and its once-global market is fragmenting into blocs and spheres of influence. Despite the ambitious efforts of the globalists at Davos, it is nationalism and regionalism that is everywhere succeeding in reasserting itself. In this environment, complex, world-spanning supply chains may soon no longer be sustainable given the growing (and already demonstrable) risks involved. We instead seem to be moving quickly toward a future of regional and separated supply chains, shorter shipping routes, built-in redundancies, and greater national protectionism and self-sufficiency. Necessary as this may be, it will have serious consequences for a world economy based on shipping everything from one corner of the planet to another.

In 2017, Xi Jinping traveled to Davos and delivered a speech portraying China as the world’s new champion of globalization. This wasn’t a completely implausible claim. No country in the world has benefitted more from globalization than China. Globalization is the machine that allowed it to implement the most rapid and wide-scale industrialization in history, lift hundreds of millions of its people out of poverty, and become the near-superpower it is today. But, since 2020, Xi appears to have largely given up on trying to save globalization and accepted the inevitable – the foreseeable future will be defined by a global struggle between China and the United States, along with the actions of every enterprising opportunist on the margins. China’s new overriding goal is therefore to achieve “self-reliance” amid what Xi has described repeatedly as a period of “changes in the world unseen in a century.”

As Xi put it in an article published in May, “the international situation is complicated and severe,” and in this context, “In the future, the demand for food will continue to increase, and the balance between supply and demand will become tighter and tighter.” Which is why, as he put it in his speech in March, China “cannot rely solely on the international market to solve” its food security problem anymore.

What China’s leaders seem to have recognized some time ago, then, is the same hard truth that European leaders are only now waking up to.

Two weeks ago, France’s President Emmanuel Macron gave a speech in which he said he believed that, “What we are currently living through is a kind of major tipping point or a great upheaval,”¹ in which “we are living [through] the end of what could have seemed an era of abundance… the end of the abundance of products of technologies that seemed always available… the end of the abundance of land and materials including water.” He received a lot of understandable public backlash for this, in that his objective was to call on the struggling common people to get used to “making sacrifices” while he and his fellow elites will of course do no such thing. But in a real sense Macron may be right: the age of abundance and easy living is probably over – at least for a decade or three.

China clearly thinks so, anyway, and is determined to be prepared to live in this new world as it is. What’s troubling is that so many of our leaders in the West still clearly are not.

“How many days have passed since the Chinese people were hungry? In the past, who didn’t go hungry?” Xi mused in remarks to his comrades in March. But then, for most people, “it’s easy to forget,” he said.


Crafty_Dog

  • Administrator
  • Power User
  • *****
  • Posts: 69662
    • View Profile



ccp

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 18596
    • View Profile
Bill Gates the farmer
« Reply #129 on: February 14, 2023, 03:10:15 PM »
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/bill-gates-asked-why-hes-164253445.html

I am just thinking it is some sort of write-off vehicle

in NJ the mega rich grow stuff on the property call themselves farmers and pay less property tax than the rest of us.



DougMacG

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 18363
    • View Profile
Re: hormones and antibiotics in 8 of 10 fast foods
« Reply #132 on: October 13, 2023, 07:17:36 AM »
"With the exception of Chipotle and Subway"

  - News I can use.

For the rest, they are no bargain anymore.  Good to have reason to stay away.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2023, 07:19:44 AM by DougMacG »

ccp

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 18596
    • View Profile
Re: Agriculture, Farming, Food Chain and Food Politics
« Reply #133 on: October 13, 2023, 08:18:49 AM »
"For the rest, they are no bargain anymore"

When I buy at the grocery store or order from restaurant the price tag elicits an "oh my God !!!  :-o"

response.

Glad Biden team themselves came up with phrase "Bidenomics"

It will be associated with dread, anger, disgust, stupidity, and pain, cold sweats and tears.

New slogan for election:

Reagonomics = excellent

Bidenomics = disaster


Which do you choose?     :wink:
« Last Edit: October 13, 2023, 08:21:48 AM by ccp »


Body-by-Guinness

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 2023
    • View Profile
Mebbe they are on to Something with the Whole Eating Insects Thing
« Reply #135 on: December 16, 2023, 11:09:54 PM »

Crafty_Dog

  • Administrator
  • Power User
  • *****
  • Posts: 69662
    • View Profile
« Last Edit: December 26, 2023, 10:13:49 AM by Crafty_Dog »

Body-by-Guinness

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 2023
    • View Profile
French Food Folly
« Reply #137 on: February 01, 2024, 05:25:42 PM »
Looks to me like national politicians more beholden to EU globalists than to the constituents that feed the nation (and are an integral part of France’s foodie national identity) are setting themselves up for a rude awakening.

https://www.conservativewoman.co.uk/gun-police-against-unarmed-farmers-the-new-siege-of-paris/

Body-by-Guinness

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 2023
    • View Profile
World Grain Harvest Keeps Growing
« Reply #138 on: February 03, 2024, 07:27:03 PM »
The next time someone pushing the climate change narrative natters on about the threat to the food supply, hand then this link noting the grain harvest is going to reach another record high:

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2024/02/03/world-cereal-production-set-to-hit-record-high-in-2023/

Crafty_Dog

  • Administrator
  • Power User
  • *****
  • Posts: 69662
    • View Profile
GPF: Euro Farmers Pist Off
« Reply #139 on: February 24, 2024, 07:41:41 AM »
February 23, 2024
View On Website
Open as PDF

European Farmer Protests
With European elections looming, politicians are scrambling to respond to farmers' demands.
By: Geopolitical Futures
European Farmer Protests

(click to enlarge)

Farmer protests have recently surged across Europe, shaking its agricultural heartlands. In Poland, a deep and broadening coalition of farmers is forming against the influx of cheaper, reputedly lower-quality Ukrainian agricultural goods that are threatening their markets. Farmers in the Netherlands were agitated even before the war in Ukraine, triggered by Dutch government plans to cut nitrogen emissions. In Germany, the last straw was when Berlin, under intense political pressure to start balancing the budget, suggested axing fuel subsidies for farmers. Taken together, European farmers are facing rising costs against falling prices; they fear that pro-climate laws will lead to their disenfranchisement; and they feel they are suffering disproportionately from Europe's approach to supporting Ukraine's wrecked economy.

The approaching European Parliament elections in June have started to energize the European Commission and national governments, which lately have been quick to make concessions to get tractors off the highways. But the farmers are not satisfied, and opposition parties – most notably those from the far right – are hoping to benefit, starting this summer.

Body-by-Guinness

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 2023
    • View Profile
Oregon’s Small Farmers Under State Assault
« Reply #140 on: March 28, 2024, 06:42:13 PM »
This is quite a tale of state overreach and the resulting horror. I’ll be surprised if Oregon doesn’t end up losing a lawsuit over illegal takings:

https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2024/03/24/oregon-shutting-down-gardens-farming-to-save-something/

Body-by-Guinness

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 2023
    • View Profile
The Screwworm Chronicles
« Reply #141 on: May 15, 2024, 12:09:42 PM »