Author Topic: PanFa War; Supply Chain issues  (Read 4621 times)


Crafty_Dog

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GPF: Michael Yon is right
« Reply #101 on: June 10, 2022, 06:09:03 PM »
June 6, 2022
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Diesel Supplies and Food
At worst, shortages could shrink the global food supply.
By: Allison Fedirka

Diesel supplies appear to be the next casualty of global energy disruptions. In fact, they started the year in a weak position, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Inventories were tight, and global refining capacity dropped to 78 million barrels per day from 82.1 million bpd. Things got only worse after Russia invaded Ukraine. The United States, Russia and China have the three highest crude oil distillation capacities, while the U.S. and Russia are the two leading diesel exporters, accounting for 22 percent of global trade by value.

Supplies from Russia have been severely disrupted or have been taken offline entirely. Just under a third of Russia’s refining capacity has been idled due to Western sanctions, and in April, Rosneft announced it would no longer export diesel. Consequently, market experts estimate that 1.3 million bpd from Russia will remain offline for the rest of the year, and Russian production is likely to stay down given its dependence on technology it no longer has access to so long as sanctions remain in place.

The biggest concern over potential diesel shortages is how they will hurt the agriculture sector, particularly in the Western Hemisphere. Diesel and gasoil – both middle distillates – are the primary fuels in Latin American freight transport and farming machinery. U.S. farming and trucking also use a ton of diesel because it’s usually cheaper than gasoline. In other words, a threat to crop production and shipment is a threat to food supplies.

Three of the world’s leading grain and oil seeds exporters – Brazil, Argentina and the U.S. – are especially vulnerable. Last year, the U.S. was the world’s second-largest wheat exporter, Argentina the seventh. Together they accounted for a fifth of global wheat exports by value. The U.S. is the global leader in corn exports, Argentina is the second, and Brazil is the fourth. They account for nearly 63 percent of global corn exports. Brazil leads global exports in soybeans, while the U.S. ranks second and Argentina fourth. They dominate the global soy market, accounting for 87 percent of exports. Brazil and Argentina have already reported concerns over diesel supply and have warned of the impact it will have on their crops. The U.S. is better positioned but will find itself increasingly constrained when it comes to rising prices and distributing the diesel supplies it has available.

Brazil

For Brazil, the problem with diesel shortages is three-fold: high prices, import constraints and domestic political battles. If current trends hold, shortages will begin in September, according to state-owned oil company Petrobras, just in time for the seasonal spike in agriculture demand. These concerns have prompted some Brazilian farmers to reduce their sowing area for the upcoming season and have raised concerns about truckers’ ability to distribute what crops are harvested.

Despite producing roughly 75 percent of its own diesel, Brazil has a hard time securing imports, which have risen as Brazil fails to increase refining capabilities. In recent weeks, Brazilian importers have reported a notable decline in the number of responses to calls for fuel purchases. (Past calls would receive offers from about 20 ships; now that number is two or three.) About 80 percent of its imports come from the U.S., but Brazil isn’t sure that it can count on Washington, which may experience its own shortages and has begun to look for other supplies in West Africa and India.

Either way, domestic political considerations will constrain Brazil’s management of diesel shortages. Through Petrobras, the Brazilian government can set domestic fuel prices. The Petrobras pricing mechanism also affects imports. If the company imports fuel at a market price higher than the domestic price, it must absorb the difference so that the cost isn’t passed on to consumers. This framework has discouraged Petrobras from importing diesel at its current price and has paralyzed the company from being able to raise prices. Containing food and fuel prices is paramount to the sitting government’s strategy for reelection, and the government has therefore strongly resisted efforts to hike prices.

Composition of Average Diesel Prices in Brazil
(click to enlarge)

The government and Petrobras, however, are looking for ways to redress the issue. For one, they are calling on distributors to increase mandatory inventory levels, which currently stand at three to five days. Leading distributors such as Vibra have already started doing as much on their own and have set inventories at seven to nine days. A second option involves increasing the percentage of biodiesel in diesel from 10 percent volume to 12-13 percent. Last, the government is considering legislation that would allow private companies to use state-run terminals and pipelines, with the ultimate goal of reducing prices. Ultimately, Brazil’s efforts to resolve the diesel crisis pit its interest in keeping fuel prices low against importing greater volumes of needed diesel.

Argentina

Argentina is no stranger to shortages. In fact, the government’s economic intervention has played a notable role in the development of shortages. Demand for diesel fuel in Argentina has risen 17.7 percent this year. According to the Energy Secretariat, this is due to seasonal demand, increased economic activity and, most important, sales to vehicles crossing the border from Paraguay and Brazil. In Argentine provinces bordering those countries, diesel demand increased 37-57 percent. The spike in foreign purchases of Argentine diesel is a direct result of the government price controls that keep Argentine diesel much cheaper than diesel sold in neighboring countries. Argentine freight drivers have already reported difficulties acquiring enough gasoil and diesel fuel. The latest survey by the Argentine Federation of Freight Transportation Entities showed that only a third of freight transporters can freely access fuel. The majority (57 percent) have some limitations or difficulties with acquiring fuel for their vehicles, while 10 percent reported no access at all.

Argentina’s diesel shortage overlaps with its agriculture production. The country’s agriculture activity is concentrated in Buenos Aires, Cordoba and Santa Fe provinces. Agriculture activity also extends farther north to the Paraguayan border and the northeast, where fuel shortages are even more severe. The shortages started in late May, toward the end of soy and corn harvesting season, which runs from mid-March to early June. The lack of diesel supply and depleted inventories have already made farmers worried about harvesting what remains of current crops and about their ability to sow new ones in the coming months.

Gasoil Supplies in Argentina
(click to enlarge)

The government’s options for managing diesel shortages are limited. State-owned oil company YPF plans to increase fuel imports in June and July from two or three ships to four. But unknown time frames and volumes cast doubt on whether incoming volumes can do much good. The country’s larger macroeconomic problems, particularly revolving around U.S. dollar supply and debt, also put into question the government’s ability to pay for increased energy imports. These financial constraints will limit the government’s ability to import diesel, which will become increasingly more difficult as prices rise.

The United States

One of the shared challenges facing Argentina and Brazil is that their main supplier of diesel, the U.S., is dealing with diesel supply problems of its own. On the geopolitical front, the U.S. must support Europe as it reels from decreased energy supplies from Russia. Before the Ukraine war began, Europe relied on Russia for 45-50 percent of its diesel imports and Russian oil products to feed its domestic refineries. In an effort to offset these losses, the U.S. exported 1.47 million barrels of diesel and gasoil to Northern Europe in March, a significant rise compared to the 300,000 barrels in February. April and May shipments are on par with or higher than the March values.

Weekly U.S. Diesel Prices
(click to enlarge)

The question, then, is how long the U.S. can sustain exports and meet domestic demand without prices skyrocketing. The U.S. Energy Information Administration forecasts diesel exports to average 1.3 million bpd this summer, a 38 percent increase from last summer. At the end of May, U.S. distillate stocks totaled 106.8 million barrels after reaching a 14-year low at the start of May with 104 million barrels. Current inventories are about 20 percent lower than the pre-pandemic five-year average and can last about 28 days. This decline has been most heavily felt on the East Coast, where inventories are the lowest since 1996 due in large part to declining refinery capability in the region. Select service stations like Pilot and Love’s have started warning about diesel shortages at some East Coast locations. And with U.S. refineries already running at 92-95 percent capacity, there’s only so much Washington can do to goose production.

Weekly U.S. Distillate Inventories
(click to enlarge)

U.S. farmers are in a less dire situation than their South American counterparts but remain wary about the impact diesel prices and possible shortages may have on their crops. Most of the U.S. spring season has already been harvested; the rest will be done by the end of the month. However, the planting season for most grains and oil seeds is in August and September. Diesel demand will dramatically increase at that time, further pressuring prices and supply. The White House is contemplating an emergency decree that would allow access to 1 million barrels of diesel in strategic reserves. Such a move could be a stop-gap measure for rising summer demand but falls short of solving any of the structural supply and production issues afflicting the country.

At the very least, the rising cost of diesel will jack up food prices at a time when they are already high. At worst, they could lead to material declines in vital food-exporting countries, which would strongly aggravate the food supply crisis.

Crafty_Dog

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ccp

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so far no proof fires are result of arson
« Reply #103 on: June 13, 2022, 07:44:37 PM »

Crafty_Dog

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Re: Supply chain issues; PanFa War
« Reply #104 on: June 14, 2022, 05:41:37 AM »
At present I file this under "odd series of coincidences that bears watching"-- apart from the implications for supply chains.


Crafty_Dog

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« Last Edit: June 16, 2022, 02:03:22 AM by Crafty_Dog »

Crafty_Dog

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WT: Food banks strained
« Reply #107 on: June 16, 2022, 02:09:35 AM »
second


Strained food banks see rising fear, desperation

Money for necessities spent on gas to get charity

BY SUSAN FERRECHIO THE WASHINGTON TIMES JACKSONVILLE, FLA. | Recordhigh gasoline prices, coupled with rapidly rising costs for food and other goods, have begun to cripple individuals and families at the lower end of the income scale, sending them in droves to food banks and other charities.

Some people are virtually stranded at home, unable to travel anywhere because they cannot afford to fuel their cars.

Amy, a mother of two who lives in Callahan, Florida, near the border with Georgia, said she spent $110 Monday at a local gas station, where a gallon of regular gasoline costs $4.81. She then hit the grocery store, where she pushed her cart past many of the items her family needed because she couldn’t afford them.

She said she left the grocery store feeling “ripped off” — and panicked.

“We’re just very, very careful,” Amy, who did not want her last name used, said as she broke down in tears. “And it almost scares me to the point where it’s like, how high is it going to go?”

Consumer prices rose by 8.6% in May over last year’s figures, higher than economists expected and up from 8.3% in April. The latest numbers shattered hopes that inflation, which has been

climbing for months, was finally beginning to slow.

President Biden acknowledged the rising costs in a speech Tuesday at the AFL-CIO convention in Philadelphia. He told the crowd that inflation “is sapping the strength of a lot of families.” He did not take credit for the crisis and instead blamed Republicans for blocking additional federal spending and tax increases that Mr. Biden said would lower costs for working families.

Mr. Biden told the union crowd that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine triggered higher fuel prices. “I’m doing everything in my power to blunt Putin’s gas price hike,” he said.

The president said he has a plan to bring down the costs of gas and food that includes tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, persuading other countries to release emergency oil and helping export grain trapped in war-torn Ukraine.

“It’s going to take time,” Mr. Biden said.

In the meantime, more people are turning to food banks in desperation.

On a recent morning, cars lined up with their trunks open at Authentic Impact food pantry in Yulee, Florida, a few miles northeast of Jacksonville. Volunteers loaded boxes of food while outreach coordinator John Sauer scanned statistics on his phone that showed a drastic increase in the number of people seeking help from the pantry over the past few months, averaging a 57% increase over last year.

He blamed the rapid rise in prices for just about everything.

“There were people that were making it month to month,” Mr. Sauer said. “And all of a sudden, with the gas prices and the groceries, they just fell off a cliff and they come here.”

Sami Speaker, 83, a widow who lives a few miles away from the food bank, pulled up with a quarter of a tank of gas left. Mrs. Speaker said it costs $85 to fully fuel her car and she can no longer afford soaring food prices. She now rarely leaves the house and has stopped making the trips to Jacksonville that she used to enjoy.

“It’s getting hard for me to get gas to get the free food,” Mrs. Speaker said. “It’s gotten where I can’t go anywhere now. I just sit at home.”

Julie, a server at the Ritz Carlton in Fernandina Beach, said she makes decent tips but not enough income to cover rent and higher prices for necessities.

She decided to go back to the food bank. “I have not come for years,” Julie said. “I make good money, but it’s still not enough.”

A few miles up the road, Yulee Baptist Church is operating a food pantry. Administrator Michelle Springer said the number of people seeking help from the food bank has increased by 25% in recent weeks.

“It’s obviously food inflation, and gas,” Mrs. Springer said. “People are just paying more for everything.”

More bad economic news arrived this week.

The Labor Department announced that the Producer Price Index, which measures the costs of wholesale goods before they make it to store shelves, rose 10.8% in May over the previous year, largely because of higher fuel costs. Consumer goods rose 1.4% in May, marking five months of increases.

The Federal Reserve raised interest rates by three-quarters of a percentage point Wednesday, the biggest increase in nearly three decades, in an effort to tame inflation.

On the day The Washington Times visited Mr. Sauer’s food bank, volunteers had given away 460 boxes of food by noon and planned to keep it open for another hour and a half. The food bank reopens at 5 p.m., when more cars typically arrive.

The food bank provided food for 832 families last week and needs more donations, Mr. Sauer said.

“I think we are headed toward nothing better,” he said about the economy.

G M

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Re: WT: Food banks strained
« Reply #108 on: June 16, 2022, 07:25:56 AM »
Roughly 1/3 of Americans make 15 dollars an hour or less. They are being slammed by Bidenflation.


second


Strained food banks see rising fear, desperation

Money for necessities spent on gas to get charity

BY SUSAN FERRECHIO THE WASHINGTON TIMES JACKSONVILLE, FLA. | Recordhigh gasoline prices, coupled with rapidly rising costs for food and other goods, have begun to cripple individuals and families at the lower end of the income scale, sending them in droves to food banks and other charities.

Some people are virtually stranded at home, unable to travel anywhere because they cannot afford to fuel their cars.

Amy, a mother of two who lives in Callahan, Florida, near the border with Georgia, said she spent $110 Monday at a local gas station, where a gallon of regular gasoline costs $4.81. She then hit the grocery store, where she pushed her cart past many of the items her family needed because she couldn’t afford them.

She said she left the grocery store feeling “ripped off” — and panicked.

“We’re just very, very careful,” Amy, who did not want her last name used, said as she broke down in tears. “And it almost scares me to the point where it’s like, how high is it going to go?”

Consumer prices rose by 8.6% in May over last year’s figures, higher than economists expected and up from 8.3% in April. The latest numbers shattered hopes that inflation, which has been

climbing for months, was finally beginning to slow.

President Biden acknowledged the rising costs in a speech Tuesday at the AFL-CIO convention in Philadelphia. He told the crowd that inflation “is sapping the strength of a lot of families.” He did not take credit for the crisis and instead blamed Republicans for blocking additional federal spending and tax increases that Mr. Biden said would lower costs for working families.

Mr. Biden told the union crowd that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine triggered higher fuel prices. “I’m doing everything in my power to blunt Putin’s gas price hike,” he said.

The president said he has a plan to bring down the costs of gas and food that includes tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, persuading other countries to release emergency oil and helping export grain trapped in war-torn Ukraine.

“It’s going to take time,” Mr. Biden said.

In the meantime, more people are turning to food banks in desperation.

On a recent morning, cars lined up with their trunks open at Authentic Impact food pantry in Yulee, Florida, a few miles northeast of Jacksonville. Volunteers loaded boxes of food while outreach coordinator John Sauer scanned statistics on his phone that showed a drastic increase in the number of people seeking help from the pantry over the past few months, averaging a 57% increase over last year.

He blamed the rapid rise in prices for just about everything.

“There were people that were making it month to month,” Mr. Sauer said. “And all of a sudden, with the gas prices and the groceries, they just fell off a cliff and they come here.”

Sami Speaker, 83, a widow who lives a few miles away from the food bank, pulled up with a quarter of a tank of gas left. Mrs. Speaker said it costs $85 to fully fuel her car and she can no longer afford soaring food prices. She now rarely leaves the house and has stopped making the trips to Jacksonville that she used to enjoy.

“It’s getting hard for me to get gas to get the free food,” Mrs. Speaker said. “It’s gotten where I can’t go anywhere now. I just sit at home.”

Julie, a server at the Ritz Carlton in Fernandina Beach, said she makes decent tips but not enough income to cover rent and higher prices for necessities.

She decided to go back to the food bank. “I have not come for years,” Julie said. “I make good money, but it’s still not enough.”

A few miles up the road, Yulee Baptist Church is operating a food pantry. Administrator Michelle Springer said the number of people seeking help from the food bank has increased by 25% in recent weeks.

“It’s obviously food inflation, and gas,” Mrs. Springer said. “People are just paying more for everything.”

More bad economic news arrived this week.

The Labor Department announced that the Producer Price Index, which measures the costs of wholesale goods before they make it to store shelves, rose 10.8% in May over the previous year, largely because of higher fuel costs. Consumer goods rose 1.4% in May, marking five months of increases.

The Federal Reserve raised interest rates by three-quarters of a percentage point Wednesday, the biggest increase in nearly three decades, in an effort to tame inflation.

On the day The Washington Times visited Mr. Sauer’s food bank, volunteers had given away 460 boxes of food by noon and planned to keep it open for another hour and a half. The food bank reopens at 5 p.m., when more cars typically arrive.

The food bank provided food for 832 families last week and needs more donations, Mr. Sauer said.

“I think we are headed toward nothing better,” he said about the economy.

ccp

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Re: Supply chain issues; PanFa War
« Reply #109 on: June 16, 2022, 07:32:08 AM »
"Roughly 1/3 of Americans make 15 dollars an hour or less. They are being slammed by Bidenflation."

we have to convince them Dem policies do NOT work

all the while people like Sanders Warren AOC
are pushing the socialist marxist class warfare agenda

their way of courting these votes of course is to bash corporations the Musks and Bezos of the world , not paying their fair share
and promising free this and that
etc

how do we counter that logic ( or illogic )

G M

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Re: Supply chain issues; PanFa War
« Reply #110 on: June 16, 2022, 07:42:04 AM »
Bernie "Tres casas" Sanders?

I'm sure Warren lives in a humble dwelling, much like her ancestors did long ago...

Doesn't AOC drive a Tesla?




"Roughly 1/3 of Americans make 15 dollars an hour or less. They are being slammed by Bidenflation."

we have to convince them Dem policies do NOT work

all the while people like Sanders Warren AOC
are pushing the socialist marxist class warfare agenda

their way of courting these votes of course is to bash corporations the Musks and Bezos of the world , not paying their fair share
and promising free this and that
etc

how do we counter that logic ( or illogic )

Crafty_Dog

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WSJ: Baby formula crisis getting worse
« Reply #111 on: June 16, 2022, 07:43:40 AM »
GM/CCP:  Probably better on a The Way Forward thread.
========================================

New data suggest that the U.S. baby-formula shortage is deepening, particularly hitting states in the South and the Southwest.

Feb. 17​Abbott ​recall
May 22​22.8%
Jan. 2022
May
0
5
10
15
20
25
%
Nationally, 23% of powdered baby formula was out of stock in the week ended May 22, compared with 21% during the previous week, according to the latest figures from market-research firm IRI. In the first week of January and before the recall of formula produced by Abbott Laboratories, 11% of powdered baby formula was out of stock because of pandemic-related supply-chain shortages and inflation. Before the pandemic, the normal out-of-stock range for powdered formula was 5% to 7%, according to IRI.

President Biden met virtually with baby formula manufacturers Wednesday, pledging to continue efforts to speed domestic production, as well as import formula from other countries.

“We will continue to work around the clock with manufacturers, states, doctors and families,” Mr. Biden said.

The CEOs of companies that produce formula said they had increased production to meet demand. Several used the word “crisis” to describe the situation. Attendees included representatives from Gerber, Reckitt Benckiser Group and Perrigo Co., which manufactures formula for private label brands.

Abbott wasn’t in attendance.

Mr. Biden told reporters it would take “a couple more months” before things were back to normal.

The Biden administration last month announced a program to increase imports of formula until U.S. production returns to normal. On Wednesday, Mr. Biden announced more Operation Fly Formula flights, which will include Kendamil infant formula made by U.K.-based Kendal Nutricare and Australia-based Bubs Australia.

States including Kansas, Georgia, Texas, Montana and Tennessee have continued to experience the worst of the shortage.


Powdered baby formula, weekly out of stock

5%-7% U.S. prepandemic average out of stock

U.S.*

40%

22.8%

Darker red denotes the

10 highest out-of-stock states

Alaska

Maine

0%

Jan.

2

May

22

Vt.

N.H.

Wash.

Mont.

N.D.

Minn.

Wis.

Mich.

N.Y.

Conn.

Mass.

Idaho

S.D.

Iowa

Ill.

Ind.

Ohio

Pa.

Del.

N.J.

R.I.

Ore.

Calif.

Nev.

Wyo.

Neb.

Mo.

Ky.

W.Va.

N.C.

Va.

Md.

D.C.

Utah

Colo.

Kan.

Ark.

Tenn.

Ala.

S.C.

Ariz.

N.M.

Okla.

La.

Miss.

Ga.

Hawaii

Texas

Fla.

*Includes states where data aren’t available individually. Based on sales at store formats such as grocery, club stores and pharmacies, which represent 80% of total formula sales.

Notes: As of week ended May 22. IRI has several criteria that restrict some state data. States where an individual retailer makes up more than 60% of the market share have been excluded.

Source: IRI

Government officials have said the shortage is especially acute for families that rely on subsidies from the federally funded Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, or WIC, as well as for infants with special dietary needs. The Access to Baby Formula Act of 2022 signed by Mr. Biden last month allows families to buy formula products beyond what the WIC program rules allow.

Some 1.6 million infants were eligible for WIC assistance as of 2019, the most recent year for which data were available. The program is designed to provide formula at no cost to families and positions the federal government as the largest purchaser of infant formula.

About half of infant formula nationwide is purchased by participants using WIC benefits, according to the White House. More than 50% of infants born in Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama and Louisiana received WIC benefits in 2019, according to a WSJ analysis of census and U.S. Agriculture Department data.

Advertisement - Scroll to Continue


Share of births that are participating WIC infants

+

20%

30

40

50

Has contract with Abbott

AK

ME

VT

NH

WA

MT

ND

MN

WI

MI

NY

NY

CT

MA

OR

ID

SD

IA

IL

IN

OH

PA

DE

DE

NJ

RI

CA

DC

NV

WY

NE

MO

KY

WV

NC

VA

VA

MD

UT

CO

AR

TN

AL

SC

KS

AZ

NM

LA

MS

GA

OK

FL

HI

TX

Sources: WSJ analysis of Census Bureau 2020 Current Population Survey data (births) and USDA data (WIC participants); USDA and state WIC offices (Abbott contracts)

The program’s exclusive sales contract system ensures that in each state, one of the major formula brands has the majority of market share.

The result is a marketplace with little competition and little flexibility, making it vulnerable if something goes wrong.

WIC state agencies reimburse retailers the full retail price of the formula purchased with WIC vouchers. The agencies then request rebate reimbursements from manufacturers. Program participants are required to use their vouchers for formula made by the state’s designated manufacturer, dramatically increasing that company’s market share in a given state.

The program’s exclusive sales contract system with major formula brands makes it difficult for smaller makers to gain market share. Abbott’s Similac brand is the most widely used in WIC, covering 34 states and the District of Columbia.

Crafty_Dog

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Actually, not a bad idea-- but how likely to be timely?
« Reply #112 on: June 16, 2022, 08:48:19 AM »
second

ICYMI: The U.S. will help build grain bins for Ukraine to help with the looming food crisis from Putin's invasion, President Joe Biden said Tuesday. The idea is to circumvent Russia's Black Sea blockade by using Ukraine's rail system to ship tons of Kyiv's delayed grain exports to at least some of the world's markets.

Context: "Since late February, Ukraine has been shipping agricultural exports via rail, road, and river routes at a fraction of its previous seaport capacity," the Center for Strategic and International Studies reported Wednesday in a new analysis featuring satellite imagery of a destroyed rail bridge and food warehouse. "Tens of millions of tons of agricultural products are blocked in port cities, alternate export routes face bottlenecks in neighboring states, and Ukrainian farmers are quickly running out of storage for harvested grain."

"We're going to build silos, temporary silos, in the borders of Ukraine," Biden said Tuesday in Philadelphia, "including in Poland, so we can transfer it from those cars into those silos, into cars in Europe, and get it out to the ocean, and get it across the world. But it's taking time."

G M

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Re: Actually, not a bad idea-- but how likely to be timely?
« Reply #113 on: June 16, 2022, 08:26:19 PM »
Too little, too late.


second

ICYMI: The U.S. will help build grain bins for Ukraine to help with the looming food crisis from Putin's invasion, President Joe Biden said Tuesday. The idea is to circumvent Russia's Black Sea blockade by using Ukraine's rail system to ship tons of Kyiv's delayed grain exports to at least some of the world's markets.

Context: "Since late February, Ukraine has been shipping agricultural exports via rail, road, and river routes at a fraction of its previous seaport capacity," the Center for Strategic and International Studies reported Wednesday in a new analysis featuring satellite imagery of a destroyed rail bridge and food warehouse. "Tens of millions of tons of agricultural products are blocked in port cities, alternate export routes face bottlenecks in neighboring states, and Ukrainian farmers are quickly running out of storage for harvested grain."

"We're going to build silos, temporary silos, in the borders of Ukraine," Biden said Tuesday in Philadelphia, "including in Poland, so we can transfer it from those cars into those silos, into cars in Europe, and get it out to the ocean, and get it across the world. But it's taking time."

G M

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When reality outstrips my pessimism, you know it's going to be bad
« Reply #114 on: June 17, 2022, 07:28:39 AM »
https://www.zerohedge.com/weather/real-deadpool-americas-drought-worse-you-think

Domestic food production will plunge.

Got food?

Got water?




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« Last Edit: June 24, 2022, 07:29:22 AM by Crafty_Dog »

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Re: Supply chain issues; PanFa War
« Reply #120 on: June 29, 2022, 10:09:05 AM »
Another Food Processing Plant Shutters Operations, Adding To Long List Of Closures
Tyler Durden's Photo
BY TYLER DURDEN
TUESDAY, JUN 28, 2022 - 10:55 AM
A top food processing plant will be closing down one of its facilities in Campbell County, Tennessee, adding to the long list of closures over the last year.

George's Prepared Foods announced its chicken processing plant in the small town of Caryville would be shuttering operations by the end of the summer.

The reason for the closure was not disclosed and has caught local officials by surprise. Campbell County Mayor E.L. Morton told local news WVLT that he's trying to keep the plant open to save hundreds of jobs.

"I have contacted the Tennessee Economic and Community Development staff to request assistance in keeping the plant open or facilitating a sale to another operator

"I have requested Governor Lee's assistance as well. My primary concern is for the welfare of the dedicated workers who have been the backbone of this operation. Our prayers go out to them as well as our very best efforts to keep them employed in Campbell County," Morton said.



Senior Vice President of George's Food, Robert George, released a statement about the closure, citing it's "a challenging time to be in the prepared foods business, and we have been carefully evaluating how we navigate the volatility in beef and pork markets."

George didn't explain what "challenging time" meant and if that was due to rampant inflation pressuring operating margins.

The announcement of the closure pushed up the number of closed US food processing plants over the last year to 100. The list below are plants destroyed, damaged, or impacted by "accidental fires," disease, or other causes (courtesy of The Gateway Pundit): 

1/11/21 A fire that destroyed 75,000-square-foot processing plant in Fayetteville
4/30/21 A fire ignited inside the Smithfield Foods pork processing plant in Monmouth, IL
7/25/21 Three-alarm fire at Kellogg plant in Memphis, 170 emergency personnel responded to the call
7/30/21 Firefighters on Friday battled a large fire at Tyson's River Valley Ingredients plant in Hanceville, Alabama
8/23/21 Fire crews were called to the Patak Meat Production company on Ewing Road in Austell
9/13/21 A fire at the JBS beef plant in Grand Island, Neb., on Sunday night forced a halt to slaughter and fabrication lines
 10/13/21 A five-alarm fire ripped through the Darigold butter production plant in Caldwell, ID
11/15/21 A woman is in custody following a fire at the Garrard County Food Pantry
11/29/21 A fire broke out around 5:30 p.m. at the Maid-Rite Steak Company meat processing plant
12/13/21 West Side food processing plant in San Antonio left with smoke damage after a fire
1/7/22 Damage to a poultry processing plant on Hamilton's Mountain following an overnight fire
1/13/22 Firefighters worked for 12 hours to put a fire out at the Cargill-Nutrena plant in Lecompte, LA
1/31/22 a fertilizer plant with 600 tons of ammonium nitrate inside caught on fire on Cherry Street in Winston-Salem
2/3/22 A massive fire swept through Wisconsin River Meats in Mauston
2/3/22 At least 130 cows were killed in a fire at Percy Farm in Stowe
2/15/22 Bonanza Meat Company goes up in flames in El Paso, Texas
2/15/22 Nearly a week after the fire destroyed most of the Shearer's Foods plant in Hermiston
2/16/22 A fire had broken at US largest soybean processing and biodiesel plant in Claypool, Indiana
2/18/22 An early morning fire tore through the milk parlor at Bess View Farm
2/19/22 Three people were injured, and one was hospitalized, after an ammonia leak at Lincoln Premium Poultry in Fremont
2/22/22 The Shearer's Foods plant in Hermiston caught fire after a propane boiler exploded
2/28/22 A smoldering pile of sulfur quickly became a raging chemical fire at Nutrien Ag Solutions
2/28/22 A man was hurt after a fire broke out at the Shadow Brook Farm and Dutch Girl Creamery
3/4/22 294,800 chickens destroyed at farm in Stoddard, Missouri
3/4/22 644,000 chickens destroyed at egg farm in Cecil, Maryland
3/8/22 243,900 chickens destroyed at egg farm in New Castle, Delaware
3/10/22 663,400 chickens destroyed at egg farm in Cecil, MD
3/10/22 915,900 chickens destroyed at egg farm in Taylor, IA
3/14/22 The blaze at 244 Meadow Drive was discovered shortly after 5 p.m. by farm owner Wayne Hoover
3/14/22 2,750,700 chickens destroyed at egg farm in Jefferson, Wisconsin
3/16/22 A fire at a Walmart warehouse distribution center in Plainfield, Indiana has cast a large plume of smoke visible throughout Indianapolis.
3/16/22 Nestle Food Plant extensively damaged in fire and new production destroyed Jonesboro, Arkansas
3/17/22 5,347,500 chickens destroyed at egg farm in Buena Vista, Iowa
3/17/22 147,600 chickens destroyed at farm in Kent, Delaware
3/18/22 315,400 chickens destroyed at egg farm in Cecil, Maryland
3/22/22 172,000 Turkeys destroyed on farms in South Dakota
3/22/22 570,000 chickens destroyed at farm in Butler, Nebraska
3/24/22 Fire fighters from numerous towns are battling a major fire at the McCrum potato processing facility in Belfast, Maine.
3/24/22 418,500 chickens destroyed at farm in Butler, Nebraska
3/25/22 250,300 chickens destroyed at egg farm in Franklin, Iowa
3/26/22 311,000 Turkeys destroyed in Minnesota
3/27/22 126,300 Turkeys destroyed in South Dakota
3/28/22 1,460,000 chickens destroyed at egg farm in Guthrie, Iowa
3/29/22 A massive fire burned 40,000 pounds of food meant to feed people in a food desert near Maricopa
3/31/22 A structure fire caused significant damage to a large portion of key fresh onion packing facilities in south Texas
3/31/22 76,400 Turkeys destroyed in Osceola, Iowa
3/31/22 5,011,700 chickens destroyed at egg farm in Osceola, Iowa
4/6/22 281,600 chickens destroyed at farm in Wayne, North Carolina
4/9/22 76,400 Turkeys destroyed in Minnesota
4/9/22 208,900 Turkeys destroyed in Minnesota
4/12/22 89,700 chickens destroyed at farm in Wayne, North Carolina
4/12/22 1,746,900 chickens destroyed at egg farm in Dixon, Nebraska
4/12/22 259,000 chickens destroyed at farm in Minnesota
4/13/22 Fire destroys East Conway Beef & Pork Meat Market in Conway, New Hampshire
4/13/22 Plane crashes into Gem State Processing, Idaho potato and food processing plant
4/13/22 77,000 Turkeys destroyed in Minnesota
4/14/22 Taylor Farms Food Processing plant burns down Salinas, California.
4/14/22 99,600 Turkeys destroyed in Minnesota
4/15/22 1,380,500 chickens destroyed at egg farm in Lancaster, Minnesota
4/19/22 Azure Standard nation's premier independent distributor of organic and healthy food, was destroyed by fire in Dufur, Oregon
4/19/22 339,000 Turkeys destroyed in Minnesota
4/19/22 58,000 chickens destroyed at farm in Montrose, Color
4/20/22 2,000,000 chickens destroyed at egg farm in Minnesota
4/21/22 A small plane crashed in the lot of a General Mills plant in Covington, Georgia
4/22/22 197,000 Turkeys destroyed in Minnesota
4/23/22 200,000 Turkeys destroyed in Minnesota
4/25/22 1,501,200 chickens destroyed at egg farm Cache, Utah
4/26/22 307,400 chickens destroyed at farm Lancaster Pennsylvania
4/27/22 2,118,000 chickens destroyed at farm Knox, Nebraska
4/28/22 Egg-laying facility in Iowa kills 5.3 million chickens, fires 200-plus workers
4/28/22 Allen Harim Foods processing plant killed nearly 2M chickens in Delaware
4/2822 110,700 Turkeys destroyed Barron Wisconsin
4/29/22 5 million honeybees are dead after a flight carrying the pollinator insects from California to Alaska got diverted to Georgia (New)
4/29/22 1,366,200 chickens destroyed at farm Weld Colorado
4/30/22 13,800 chickens destroyed at farm Sequoia Oklahoma
5/3/22 58,000 Turkeys destroyed Barron Wisconsin
5/3/22 118,900 Turkeys destroyed Beadle S Dakota
5/3/22 114,000 ducks destroyed at Duck farm Berks Pennsylvania
5/3/22 118,900 Turkeys destroyed Lyon Minnesota
5/7/22 20,100 Turkeys destroyed Barron Wisconsin
5/10/22 72,300 chickens destroyed at farm Lancaster Pennsylvania
5/10/22 61,000 ducks destroyed at Duck farm Berks Pennsylvania
5/10/22 35,100 Turkeys destroyed Muskegon, Michigan
5/13/22 10,500 Turkeys destroyed Barron Wisconsin
5/14/22 83,400 ducks destroyed at Duck farm Berks Pennsylvania
5/17/22 79,00 chickens destroyed at Duck farm Berks Pennsylvania
5/18/22 7,200 ducks destroyed at Duck farm Berks Pennsylvania
5/19/22 Train carrying limestone derailed Jensen Beach FL
5/21/22 57,000 Turkeys destroyed on farm in Dakota Minnesota
5/23/22 4,000 ducks destroyed at Duck farm Berks Pennsylvania
5/29/22 A Saturday night fire destroyed a poultry building at Forsman Farms in Howard Lake, Minnesota
5/31/22 3,000,000 chickens destroyed by fire at Forsman facility in Stockholm Township, Minnesota
6/2/22 30,000 ducks destroyed at Duck farm Berks Pennsylvania
6/7/22 A fire occurred Tuesday evening at the JBS meat packing plant in Green Bay, Wisconsin
6/8/22 Firefighters from Tangipahoa Fire District 1 respond to a fire at the Purina Feed Mill in Arcola, Louisiana
6/9/22 Irrigation water was canceled in California (the #1 producer of food in the US) and storage water flushed directly out to the delta.
6/12/22 Largest Pork Company in the US Shuts Down California Plant Due to High Costs
6/13/22 Fire Breaks Out at a Food Processing Plant West of Waupaca County in Wisconsin
6/14/22 Over 10,000 head of cattle have reportedly died in the recent Kansas heat wave
6/23/22 George's Inc.: Poultry and Prepared Foods announced it will close one of its food processing plants in Campbell County, Tennessee
Meanwhile, in London, Ontario, Aspire Food Group recently announced that its new insect production facility would produce 9,000 metric tons of crickets yearly for human and pet consumption across North America, according to Canadian Manufacturing.

As a reminder, the World Economic Forum (WEF) technocrats urged people weeks ago to ditch meat for "climate beneficial foods" such as seaweed, algae, and cacti.

Part of the new world order is to reset the global economy and reengineer what people eat. This is being accomplished by influential billionaires, politicians, celebrities, biased academics, wealthy philanthropists, and the bureaucrats of international organizations and institutions.

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Re: Supply chain issues; PanFa War
« Reply #121 on: June 29, 2022, 11:17:19 AM »
I haven't figured out yet what "PanFa" means.

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Re: Supply chain issues; PanFa War
« Reply #122 on: June 29, 2022, 11:38:31 AM »
I haven't figured out yet what "PanFa" means.

Pandemic Famine War


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Re: any investments good in food shortage / famine
« Reply #124 on: June 29, 2022, 12:28:59 PM »

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Re: Supply chain issues; PanFa War
« Reply #125 on: June 29, 2022, 01:55:49 PM »
Make sure you have 2 years of food in a secure location and the ability to defend it before you spend a penny on a stock.

somehow I had a suspicion you would say something to this effect.  :-D

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Locusts
« Reply #128 on: July 02, 2022, 05:29:17 AM »



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sri Lanka
« Reply #136 on: July 10, 2022, 09:48:27 AM »
climate change fools

caused this

without thinking through the ramifications

now China is already planning on moving in to help (exploit ) them I am assuming


Crafty_Dog

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Re: sri Lanka
« Reply #138 on: July 10, 2022, 09:37:16 PM »
The people pushing this know exactly what will happen. The plan is to kill off much of the world's population.


climate change fools

caused this

without thinking through the ramifications

now China is already planning on moving in to help (exploit ) them I am assuming


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NRO catches up with MY re Sri Lanka
« Reply #140 on: July 11, 2022, 07:56:27 AM »
NR PLUS MEMBER FULL VIEW
Sri Lanka’s Collapse Points to Global Gloom

On the menu today: You probably saw that footage of seemingly unending throngs of people swarming and overtaking the president’s residence and prime minister’s house in Sri Lanka. Our Dominic Pino has been keeping an eye on that troubled island nation for a while, and he lays out the sadly predictable path to chaos: a dumb ban on chemical fertilizers, corruption and mismanagement, the interruption of the usual trade routes and tourism, and a devastating wave of runaway inflation. Meanwhile, down in Georgia, there’s good reason to doubt that Quinnipiac survey showing Herschel Walker trailing Senator Rafael Warnock by ten points.

Why Sri Lanka Suddenly Matters

Back in March, as the world was still watching the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Reuters filed an ominous dispatch from Sri Lanka about the consequences of its government’s attempt to ban the use of artificial fertilizers:

I cannot recall any time in the past when we had to struggle so much to get a decent harvest,” said [W.M.] Seneviratne, a lean 65-year-old with a shock of silver hair, who has been farming since he was a child.

“Last year, we got 60 bags from these two acres. But this time it was just 10,” he added.

The dramatic fall in yields follows a decision last April by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to ban all chemical fertilizers in Sri Lanka – a move that risks undermining support among rural voters who are key to his family’s grip on Sri Lankan politics.

Although the ban was rolled back after widespread protests, only a trickle of chemical fertilizers made it to farms, which will likely lead to an annual drop of at least 30% in paddy yields nationwide, according to agricultural experts.

A month later, the Guardian’s correspondent sent back a dispatch with similarly grim warnings:

“We are a tropical country full of rice paddies and banana plantations, but because of this stupid fertilizer ban, now we don’t even have enough food to feed ourselves,” said Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon, 52, former governor of the southern province. “We have had past economic crises, security crises, but never in Sri Lanka’s history have we had a food crisis.”

But the Guardian being the Guardian, it had to add a paragraph insisting that a ban on artificial fertilizers was good in theory:

On the face of it, a push to organic farming would be seen as laudable, given concerns over the use of chemical fertilizers. Yet it was the sudden and obtuse manner in which the ban was introduced — imposed virtually overnight and with no prior warning or training – and the questionable motives behind it, that have left even organic farming advocates furious.

Sri Lanka is a small island nation off the coast of India. When Hollywood needs a jungle, it films there. The Bridge on the River Kwai, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and one of the Jungle Book  movies all included scenes shot on the island. It is about as far as a country can get from the United States, and when news about the country has reached Americans, it was usually bad news — such as the government’s long battle against the Tamil Tigers terrorist group, or the devastating 2004 tsunami.

Yet with the Tamil insurgency defeated, in the past few years, Sri Lanka had begun to look like a success story by the standards of the region. As our Dominic Pino laid out:

By 2019 it had been elevated from a lower-middle-income country to an upper-middle-income country by World Bank classifications. Its GDP per capita, adjusted for purchasing power, is about double that of India, about the same as the poorer countries of Eastern Europe such as Ukraine and Moldova, and only slightly behind Brazil. Its largest city of Colombo had become a tourist destination. It’s not a wealthy country by any stretch of the imagination, but it was doing well for its neighborhood, and its 22 million inhabitants saw a dramatic improvement in their quality of life in the past decade.

But everything fell part fast: Inflation is raging out of control, the government defaulted on its debts, an energy crisis led to rolling blackouts, and the food shortages spurred massive crowds of people to storm into the houses of the country’s wealthy rulers and effectively topple the government. Inflation in Sri Lanka has reached jaw-dropping levels: “Consumer prices rose 54.6 percent in June from a year earlier, with transport surging 128 percent from the previous month and food 80 percent.”

Back in May, I noted that the Russian invasion of Ukraine meant that two of the world’s biggest grain exporters were effectively taken out of the market, as well as Russian exports of fertilizer. I also said that:

The global fertilizer shortage is likely to reduce crop yields in a lot of places, which means we may be dealing with a worse problem in the coming months and years. Using less fertilizer usually translates into fewer crops… hungry people do things that well-fed people do not. They protest and they riot. Hungry people move across borders as refugees. They are more easily recruited into terrorist or extremist groups. . . . Hungry populaces are more likely to turn to demagogues promising an easy solution. Where there is hunger, there is conflict.

Back in early June, when very few Western minds were paying much attention to Sri Lanka, Dominic wrote an unnervingly prescient piece entitled, “Sri Lanka’s Collapse and the End of Globalization”:

Coming out of the pandemic, Sri Lanka was counting on the return of tourism, a vital industry to the island country with many beaches on the Indian Ocean. One problem: The first- and third-largest tourism markets for Sri Lanka were Russia and Ukraine. Russia is also a major buyer of Sri Lankan tea. The realities of the war and the sanctions on Russia have upended that plan. . . .

Protesters are in the streets, some of them setting politicians’ homes on fire, and police used tear gas to disperse them. Parkin writes that there are miles-long lines for gasoline, and some people are only eating one meal per day.

Sri Lanka’s default may just be the start of a wider financial crisis in the developing world as a result of worsening global economic conditions. The country had the disadvantage of exceptionally poor leadership and bad timing of the pandemic and the war in Ukraine. But poor leadership is common in the developing world, and less robust economies are especially susceptible to bad luck.

Countries are economically connected in strange ways. In many cases, those connections only become widely known in hindsight, after a crisis has made them obvious. It would be an overstatement to say that fewer Russians and Ukrainians going on vacation plunged Sri Lanka into crisis, but that seemingly innocuous fact was one of many contributing factors. Those in the prosperous West who are cheering for the end of globalization should be careful what they wish for.

And as the Wall Street Journal warns this morning, there are other debt-ridden countries that are probably not too far from Sri Lanka’s dire position:

Countries such as Zambia and Lebanon are already in the grip of crises and are seeking international help to provide loans or restructure their debts, while Pakistan’s new government, which came to power in April, says that it narrowly averted a debt default in recent weeks, driven by a soaring fuel-import bill. Foreign-exchange reserves held by the central bank dwindled to cover less than two months’ worth of exports, largely closing off Pakistan’s prospects of tapping international financial markets. China, a close ally, provided a $2.3 billion loan in June to shore up the foreign-currency reserves.

Bloomberg News adds El Salvador, Ghana, Egypt, and Tunisia to the troubled list.

But Pakistan stands out, as that country has an estimated 165 nuclear weapons. One Indian business publication’s assessment of the Pakistani economy reads like a horror show, and it explicitly compares that country to Sri Lanka: runaway foreign debt; skyrocketing cost of foreign imports; a collapsing currency; falling exports; shortages of food, fuel, and medicines; hoping for rescue from the International Monetary Fund but having no negotiating leverage; and a recovery plan that relies on people drinking less tea and exporting donkeys to China.

You would like to think that a country with a large nuclear arsenal would also know how to manage its borrowing, pay its debts, and keep its economy running smoothly. Then again, there’s probably some Pakistani out there, wondering how an American could have the nerve to make that criticism.


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ET: The Man-Made Food Crisis
« Reply #142 on: July 14, 2022, 07:37:45 AM »

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WSJ: Sri Lanka's Green Leap Forward
« Reply #145 on: July 15, 2022, 05:39:32 AM »
Sri Lanka’s Green New Deal Was a Human Disaster
An ill-advised national experiment in organic farming yielded starvation, poverty and political chaos.
By Tunku Varadarajan
July 14, 2022 6:32 pm ET


The Green Revolution of Norman Borlaug, the American agronomist who did more to feed the world than any man before or since, set Sri Lanka on the path to agricultural abundance in 1970. It was built around chemical fertilizers and crops bred to be disease-resistant. Fifty-two years later, Sri Lanka has pulled off a revolution that is “antigreen” in the modern sense, toppling its president, Gotabaya Rajapaksa. In an uprising that has its roots in Mr. Rajapaksa’s imperious decision to impose organic farming on the entire country—which led to widespread hunger after the agricultural economy collapsed—Sri Lanka’s people have wrought the first contra-organic national uprising in history.

Footage of protesters swarming the presidential palace—splashing in the swimming pool, watching cricket on television in the bedroom, making tea in the lavish kitchen—resembled the mass break-in at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, but with none of the menace of the American trespass. Mr. Rajapaksa was in fact an American citizen until 2019, the year he was elected Sri Lanka’s president. He has now fled the country.

Will this environmental visionary be offered refuge at Berkeley? At the headquarters of the Sierra Club? Or even by the Biden administration? Perhaps not, for he bears on his head some serious accusations of war crimes that would make housing him inconvenient. But the truth is, Mr. Rajapaksa was driven from office in part because he was an overzealous green warrior, who imposed on his countrymen a policy that the American environmental left holds sacred.

Sri Lanka came to detest Mr. Rajapaksa for other reasons too. He was an autocrat, the latest in the Rajapaksa political dynasty to be president after his elder brother Mahinda, who held the office from 2005-15. Mahinda was a ruthless president, waging a scorched-earth war against Tamil separatists in the country’s north that resulted in a resounding victory for the Sri Lankan army in 2009. Gotabaya Rajapaksa was defense secretary during the war and is accused of signing off on tactics that resulted in the deaths of thousands of civilians.

The Rajapaksa method—take the action you want, the consequences be damned—may have worked to win one of the bloodiest civil wars in modern times. But it was jarring in peacetime, as Sri Lankans found themselves ruled by a pair of brothers who consulted no one and did as they pleased. Corruption soared alongside the nepotism and despotism. Sri Lankans, whose literacy rate is among the highest in Asia and who are classified as middle-income by the World Bank, found this state of affairs increasingly intolerable.

Perhaps because of the seven years he spent living in America during the late 1990s and early 2000s, Mr. Rajapaksa was in thrall to green nostrums. He campaigned for president in 2019 on a platform that promised a form of technocratic utopia, including the commitment to turn Sri Lankan agriculture completely organic in a decade. He was particularly attentive to Vandana Shiva, a rabid Indian opponent of modern scientific agriculture. She considers Borlaug the enemy.

Covid hit Sri Lanka particularly hard, wiping out tourism, its economic mainstay. Heedless of this calamity, and of the wider impoverishment caused by lockdowns, Mr. Rajapaksa took a step that poleaxed Sri Lanka. On April 27, 2021—with no warning, and with no attempt to teach farmers how to cope with the change—he announced a ban on all synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Henceforth, he decreed, Sri Lankan agriculture would be 100% organic. Agronomists and other scientists warned loudly of the catastrophe that would ensue, but they were ignored. This Sri Lankan Nero listened to no one.

Except, of course, to Ms. Shiva and other woke environmentalists, who rejoiced at the epochal nature of Mr. Rajapaksa’s decision. “Let us all join hands with Sri Lanka,” Ms. Shiva tweeted on June 10, 2021, “taking steps towards a #PoisonFree #PoisonCartelFree world for our health & the health of the planet.” Lost in all the ideological ululation was another likely explanation for Mr. Rajapaksa’s action: So debt-ridden was Sri Lanka—to China, in particular—that he may have decided to forgo imported fertilizer and pesticide as a money-saving measure.

What happened next? Rice production fell by 20% in the first 180 days of the ban on synthetic fertilizer. Tea, Sri Lanka’s main cash crop, has been hit hard, with exports at their lowest level in nearly a quarter-century. Whether from indignation over the new laws or an inability to go organic, farmers left a third of all farmland fallow. Food prices soared as a result of scarcity and Sri Lanka’s people, their pockets already hit by the pandemic, began to go hungry. To add to the stench of failure, a shipload of manure from China had to be turned back after samples revealed dangerous levels of bacteria. The farmers had no synthetic fertilizer, and hardly any of the organic kind.

So extensive was the damage done by his organic diktat that Mr. Rajapaksa had to reverse himself by November 2021. His scientific ineptitude was now matched by his economic illiteracy. Battling to salvage his political reputation, he agreed to compensate farmers for their losses, the bill for which totaled more than the money he’d ostensibly saved the country by banning imports of fertilizer in April 2021.

Organic activist groups are still in denial. The U.K.-based Soil Association tweeted this: “Lots of lessons to be learnt from Sri Lanka, but ‘see, organic doesn’t work’ isn’t one of them.” Mr. Rajapaksa, for his part, has had to pay for his hubris with his job. Had he not fled the country, it is more than likely that he would have paid for it with his life. Would that have made him a Green Martyr? We’ll never know. Sri Lanka must now turn to better ways: accountability, democracy, the rule of law and yes, modern scientific farming that can feed all of its 22 million people.

Mr. Varadarajan, a Journal contributor, is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and at Columbia University’s Center on Capitalism and Society.
===============
ET

Sri Lanka and the Start of a Starvation Pandemic
Gregory Copley
Gregory Copley
 July 13, 2022 Updated: July 13, 2022biggersmaller Print

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1

Commentary

Poor governmental decisions in many countries are leading to mass starvation–and public retaliation against their governments.

Sri Lanka’s current dire problems—in which popular street action has thrown out, first, a sitting prime minister, then his replacement, and then the sitting president—seem likely to be a precursor to similar actions elsewhere in the world.

And Sri Lanka’s problems are nowhere near being resolved as its population starves.

Moreover, eradicating the immediate symptoms of popular discontent does not guarantee that underlying structural problems have been eliminated. A significant and growing number of countries are presently facing mass discontent over economic and security issues, and some are close to the Sri Lankan situation.

Sri Lanka’s growing economic and political crisis seemed to have moved a step closer to resolution on July 11 when Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe announced—only two months after being appointed to his position—that he and his entire Cabinet would resign, along with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, to clear the way for a new all-party unity government.

On July 13, Rajapaksa fled Sri Lanka with his wife, Ioma, to Male, the capital of the Maldives, on an old Sri Lankan Air Force Antonov An-32 twin-turboprop transport aircraft. Maldives air traffic control refused permission for the aircraft to land until the speaker of the Maldives Parliament intervened. There was no evidence that Rajapaksa had provided the constitutionally-necessary written resignation to the speaker of Parliament, but, de facto, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe became acting president and the focus of new mass public protests.

Therein lay some of the challenges.

Constitutionally, once the Sri Lankan president and prime minister formally resign (and the president must resign by letter to the speaker of Parliament), the speaker could then be appointed as acting president. Parliament would then vote within 30 days for a new president to complete the current presidential term, which is scheduled to end in 2024.

The problem of creating the new “all-party” government would lie, however, in the fact that Parliament itself remained dominated by the Rajapaksa-dominated People’s Freedom Alliance (SLPFA), which controls 145 of the 225 seats in Parliament, with only the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB), formed in 2020, with any substantial number of seats (45), and the remainder held in ones and twos by small parties.

In other words, the new government to be formed after the collapse of the Rajapaksa administration would still, in essence, be controlled by the Rajapaksa family, at least in the eyes of the protesters who had demanded an end to the Rajapaksa era.

Epoch Times Photo
A demonstrator wearing a mask of Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa takes part in a demonstration over the country’s crippling economic crisis near the parliament building in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on May 6, 2022. (Ishara S. Kodikara/AFP via Getty Images)
This was not lost on the protesters, who had targeted the homes of at least 40 ruling party parliamentarians in recent weeks.

However, in the interest of maintaining continuity as Sri Lanka continued to negotiate with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) over possible financial support, Central Bank Governor P. Nandalal Weerasinghe would remain in his post, saying he would serve out his six-year term.

The final collapse of the Rajapaksa administration occurred due to mass protests on July 9, targeting (and occupying) the homes of Rajapaksa and Wickremesinghe. And although the prime minister and speaker of Parliament announced that the president and government would step down on July 13, the president himself remained silent. Rajapaksa had been whisked to safety just before the mob descended on his official residence. Wickremesinghe’s private home was set on fire.

Border control officials on July 12 stopped the president’s brother and former finance minister, Basil Rajapaksa, from flying out of Sri Lanka. Still, it was understood he finally was able to leave. Meanwhile, no word was heard from another brother, former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, who had been removed from office on May 12 and replaced as an emergency measure by Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Sri Lanka’s economy had seemingly collapsed overnight in 2022, but the seeds of that collapse and ensuing food shortage had been sewn earlier. And the COVID-19 global health crisis had meant that tourism—Sri Lanka’s economic mainstay (12.6 percent of GDP in 2019)—had been wiped out between 2020 and 2022.

For various reasons, Sri Lanka was already on the way to an economic meltdown by the time then-Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa began his fifth premiership term on August 10, 2020.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the former prime minister’s younger brother, in May 2021 compounded the problem by instituting a policy to make Sri Lanka the world’s first fully organic farming nation, banning all importation of agrochemicals, including fertilizers and pesticides. The move was ostensibly instituted to address a rise in kidney disease—thought to be the result of fertilizer exposure—among farmers.

But food production plummeted immediately (between 20 percent and 70 percent, depending on the crop), severely impacting the local supply of foods and major export crops, such as tea. This problem, the loss of local food and export revenues, coupled with a shortage of foreign exchange holdings, escalated the country’s economic crisis.

Epoch Times Photo
A farmer prepares a paddy field for sowing in Biyagama on the outskirts of Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Oct. 21, 2020. (Ishara S. Kodikara/AFP via Getty Images)
Farmers make up some 30 percent of the Sri Lankan labor force. And their output of rice, a staple of the local diet, fell between 40 and 50 percent during the growing season, known as Maha. As a result, Sri Lanka imported some 330,000 tons of rice in the first three months of 2021, compared with the 15,000 tons imported in 2020.

By May 2022, the government said that it would reinstate the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, but it was too late: many farmers had left the land or had been bankrupted, and no funds were available to import fertilizer. In any event, the Ukraine war with Russia, which began in February 2022, severely impacted the availability of chemical fertilizers that had previously been key export commodities from Ukraine and Russia.

At the same time, Sri Lanka was forced to default on interest payments on its sovereign debt; it had run out of cash, and the country faced the reality that it had little food and no reserves of petrol and petroleum products. Widespread and rolling power cuts followed.

Riots and protests arose against the government in major urban areas. Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned on May 9, 2022, and his Sri Lanka Podujana Party offered to support a new government under an opposition leader. Still, it was clear that protesters also sought the resignation of the prime minister’s younger brother, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Opposition leader and former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, 73, was sworn in on May 12, attempting to form a new unity government. Harsha De Silva, a member of the SJB, the largest opposition group in Parliament, was offered the finance ministry but rejected it, saying he would work with “the people” to remove the Rajapaksa administration. The Tamil National Alliance said the administration had “completely lost legitimacy” with the reappointment of Wickremesinghe.

A significant number of other societies face similar challenges to those of Sri Lanka, particularly in Africa. Popular discontent has recently been a key factor in other countries, such as Sudan. It looms in Iran, Egypt, Ethiopia, South Africa, mainland China, and elsewhere as food shortages begin to show. This is a starvation pandemic—caused by government decisions—that is about to burst onto the global stage.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2022, 08:43:41 AM by Crafty_Dog »

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