Food Crisis: German Farmers Warn of Drought-Related Crop Failure on Top of Grain, Fuel, Fertiliser Woes

TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY Nicolas Cheviron: Picture dated 02 August 2007 shows dried-up sunf
SEZAYI ERKEN/AFP via Getty Images

Farmers in the east of Germany are warning of widespread crop failures due to a lack of rainfall in the region.

Things may soon go from bad to worse for shoppers in Germany and beyond as farmers in the east of the country warn that a lack of rainfall could result in crop failures.

While no doubt a nightmarish scenario for farmers at the best of times, these potential crop failures come at a time of a spiralling food crisis, thanks in large part to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and associated sanctions war — which is limiting the exports of grain and fertiliser to Europe and the wider world.

According to a report by Die Welt, farmers in the German regions of Brandenburg, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania have seen their soil massively dry out thanks to a serious lack of rainfall in March.

As a result, the cultivation of a variety of crops is now in danger, with low yields expected as a result of the drought.

One crop thought to be badly affected is sunflower, which is likely to cause distress to shoppers throughout Europe who are already facing an acute shortage of sunflower oil — a sizable amount of which comes from Ukraine and Russia.

“For spring sowing, we need heavy rain for a whole week from now on,” said one farming association official on the growing of the flower, admitting that a poor crop as a result of the drought could result in even worse sunflower oil shortages come autumn.

Many in Europe can at least be thankful that they will likely be able to put some food on their plates in six months’ time, despite these issues.

However, many in the developing world may not be so lucky, with the Ukraine crisis putting such pressure on the food supplies of vulnerable regions as to put millions more people at risk of going hungry.

This is according to the head of the World Food Programme, David Beasley, who said last week that a variety of worldwide issues have come together to create a “perfect storm” likely to leave many without sufficient nourishment.

“Acute hunger is soaring to unprecedented levels and the global situation just keeps on getting worse,” the former Republican governor of South Carolina said.

“Conflict, the climate crisis, COVID-19 and surging food and fuel costs have created a perfect storm — and now we’ve got the war in Ukraine piling catastrophe on top of catastrophe,” he continued. “Millions of people in dozens of countries are being driven to the edge of starvation.”

Beasley had previously warned that if European nations did not step in to fix the food situation, the continent would see a mass migration wave of biblical proportions.

“Failure to provide this year a few extra billion dollars [for feeding the vulnerable] means you’re going to have famine, destabilization, and mass migration,” he said.

“If you think we’ve got Hell on earth now, you just get ready. If we neglect northern Africa, northern Africa’s coming to Europe. If we neglect the Middle East, [the] Middle East is coming to Europe.”

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