UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told a meeting of the UN Security Council that food and fertilizers from Belarus, Russia and Ukraine must be returned to world markets despite the conflict.
“Let me be clear – a serious solution to the threats to global food security requires the reintegration of agricultural production in Ukraine and food and fertilizer production in Russia and Belarus on world markets,” he said.
Gutierrez added that this should be done despite military action.
“I will do my best to ensure dialogue and implement these measures,” Guterres added.
After world food prices rose to a historic record in March due to the war in Ukraine, which caused shocks in the grain and vegetable oils markets, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), quoted by AFP.
The FAO’s Food Price Index, which reflects monthly changes in the price of a basket of staple foods, set a record in February, reaching its highest level since its inception. In March, the indicator increased by another 12.6 percent to an average of 159.3 points.
The increase comes in much of the cereals sub-index, which jumped 17.1 percent from February, mainly because of the war in Ukraine.
The overall increase was also contributed by vegetable oils, which rose by as much as 23.2 percent against the background of rising sunflower oil, for which the world’s largest exporter is Ukraine.
At the same time, the prices of palm, soybean and rapeseed oil are rising sharply due to the increase in global demand for imports due to disruptions in the supply of sunflower oil.