Putin has been accused of “weaponising food” by svein tore holsether, the ceo of yara, due to the ongoing conflict between russia and ukraine. this has caused the price of fertilisers to reach record levels, leading to an increase in food prices and putting pressure on consumers worldwide. kristalina georgieva, the imf’s managing director, and mark holsether of the un food and agriculture organisation have both raised concern over russia’s use of energy and food as weapons.
Conflict between russia and ukraine began in 2014 and has been ongoing ever since. russia’s stockpiling of fertiliser for domestic use and its 70% increase in export revenues has been a major cause of the high fertiliser prices, which has had a global impact.
Peter alexander of the school of geosciences at edinburgh university argued that the infrastructure built in europe on cheap russian gas has resulted in significant consequences and costs, especially when it comes to food and fertiliser. nearly half of the world’s food production is dependent on fertiliser, which could be used as a powerful weapon to cause disruption. economists raised concern that a sharp increase in fertiliser costs could reduce food yields so drastically that by the end of the decade, an increase in agricultural land of an area equivalent to much of western europe would be required to meet global demand. this could have severe impacts on deforestation, biodiversity, and carbon emissions. mr holsether added that the world must reduce its dependency on russia in order to avoid fertiliser being used as a weapon in war.