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United Nations warns of possibly food shortages in NEAR future

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BillMasen

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https://www.theguardian.com/global-...res-could-cause-global-food-shortage-un-warns

Coronavirus measures could cause global food shortage, UN warns
Exclusive: Protectionist policies and shortage of workers could see problems start within weeks

Protectionist measures by national governments during the coronavirus crisis could provoke food shortages around the world, the UN’s food body has warned.

Harvests have been good and the outlook for staple crops is promising, but a shortage of field workers brought on by the virus crisis and a move towards protectionism – tariffs and export bans – mean problems could quickly appear in the coming weeks, Maximo Torero, chief economist of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, told the Guardian.

“The worst that can happen is that governments restrict the flow of food,” he said. “All measures against free trade will be counterproductive. Now is not the time for restrictions or putting in place trade barriers. Now is the time to protect the flow of food around the world.”


Governments must resist calls from some quarters to protect their own food supply by restricting exports, he said, as some have begun to do.

Kazakhstan, for instance, according to a report from Bloomberg, has banned exports of wheat flour, of which it is one of the world’s biggest sources, as well as restrictions on buckwheat and vegetables including onions, carrots and potatoes. Vietnam, the world’s third biggest rice exporter, has temporarily suspended rice export contracts. Russia, the world’s biggest wheat exporter, may also threaten to restrict exports, as it has done before, and the position of the US is in doubt given Donald Trump’s eagerness for a trade war in other commodities.

“Trade barriers will create extreme volatility,” warned Torero. “[They] will make the situation worse. That’s what we observe in food crises.”

While the supply of food is functioning well in most countries at present, problems could start to be seen within weeks and intensify over the following two months as key fruit and vegetables come into season. These types of produce often have short ripening times and are highly perishable, and need skilled pickers to work quickly at the right time.

“We need to be careful not to break the food value chain and the logistics or we will be looking at problems with fresh vegetables and fruits soon,” said Torero. “Fruit and vegetables are also very labour intensive, if the labour force is threatened because people can’t move then you have a problem.”

As governments impose lockdowns in countries across the world, recruiting seasonal workers will become impossible unless measures are taken to ensure vital workers can still move around, while preventing the virus from spreading.

“Coronavirus is affecting the labour force and the logistical problems are becoming very important,” said Torero. “We need to have policies in place so the labour force can keep doing their job. Protect people too, but we need the labour force. Major countries have yet to implement these sorts of policies to ensure that food can keep moving.”

Countries such as the UK, with a sinking currency and high level of imports, are also likely to see food price rises unless the government takes action or retailers absorb some of the costs, he said.

The most important role governments can play is to keep the food supply chain operating, intervene to ensure there are enough workers, and keep the global food markets from panicking, according to Torero.

“If traders start to become nervous, conditions will get difficult,” he said. “It just needs one big trader to make a decision [to disrupt the supply of staple crops] and that will affect everywhere. Governments must properly regulate, that is their biggest function in this situation. It’s very important to keep alive the food value chain: intervene to protect the value chain [including the supply of workers] but not to distort the market.”

Individuals can also play an important role, by avoiding panic buying and hoarding of food, and cutting down on food waste. Buying too much fresh farm produce that then goes off before it can be eaten will just exacerbate food supply problems, he said. “Individuals should only buy what they need to avoid food waste.”

Animal welfare is also an issue as border delays caused by the Covid-19 lockdown measures are meaning that livestock journeys are lengthened.

In the UK, some farming leaders have called for a “land army” of workers to replace a shortfall of workers that could reach 80,000, according to one estimate, if the 60,000 seasonal workers recruited from abroad in normal years are prevented from coming, and if some British workers fall ill.

Organisations representing both wealthy landowners and agricultural workers have urged the government to intervene. The Landworkers’ Alliance, representing more than 1,000 small and medium farmers and landworkers across the UK, wrote to the chancellor of the exchequer asking for a £9.3m package of support to pay a “land army” of workers to increase domestic fruit and vegetable production as the Covid-19 crisis bites.

The Country Land and Business Association (CLA), representing more than 30,000 UK landowners and rural firms, made a similar call last week, for the government to make it easier for people thrown out of work by the lockdown to find seasonal work on farms. Mark Bridgeman, president of the CLA, said: “We need urgent government assistance to help source workers and advertise positions. Time is of the essence as many farmers will soon begin, or have already begun, planting or harvesting.”

The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has said its officials and ministers are in regular communication with representatives of the food industry to ensure the food supply chain remains resilient.

Andre Laperriere, executive director of Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition, which provides data on food and agriculture, said the government must make plans to ensure the food supply chain functioned smoothly.

Empty shelves in supermarkets should not be much of a concern,” he said. “It is not a supply problem – it is a logistics problem. There is enough supply for all, as long as everyone stays calm and stops hoarding. We may tend to waste food if we hoard more than required, and hoarding would also artificially increase food prices because of the pressure on the supply chain.”

He called for borders between the UK and other countries to remain open for imports and exports, and for farm workers to be supplied with protective equipment to enable them to carry on with their jobs safely amid the coronavirus lockdown. “The food sector comes under the critical infrastructure sector, along with healthcare and emergency services,” he said.
 

GaRp58

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We (I) just cleared out another half acre in the back to start planting our beans, potatoes, tomato and onion garden. We also are buying and planting apple, peach, pear and pecan trees.
Watching the prices on rice, flour and other staples.
Got my 4 stage waterfilter system built in under the sink. Have a Nr. 1 and backup water pump for the waterwell.
Covered up my 2 spare chimneys with 1/2 inch thick glass so it will not rain or snow into them till I need them again. Enlarging the hole in the wall from 110 mm to 150 mm for the stovepipe of the woodburning stove/heater in the livingroom. I can use it for heating, baking or cooking and being castiron, it will store heat for the night.
Checked the spare gas heater in the workshop as a reserve for the dining room or the workshop. Could also use it as a second heater in the kitchen/dining room area if it gets really cold.
Got 3 new rain, wind, cold weather jackets. Put my cold weather bag in the car for this winter.
Extra batteries for the motion sensor lights in the house, I do not need to turn on the lights while walking around the house at night. The lights sense movement, light up for about 30 seconds as we walk by and then shut off. All automatically and only on the ground so you can see where you are walking.
We are slowly getting to know the neighbors and getting ready for an unusually early winter here.
***Say a prayer for our friend in Poland, YerbaMate, he lost his house against the bank because of the corona stress. It was hard to keep paying and he needs to find another place to live...GP
 

Codokaktus

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We (I) just cleared out another half acre in the back to start planting our beans, potatoes, tomato and onion garden. We also are buying and planting apple, peach, pear and pecan trees.
Watching the prices on rice, flour and other staples.
Got my 4 stage waterfilter system built in under the sink. Have a Nr. 1 and backup water pump for the waterwell.
Covered up my 2 spare chimneys with 1/2 inch thick glass so it will not rain or snow into them till I need them again. Enlarging the hole in the wall from 110 mm to 150 mm for the stovepipe of the woodburning stove/heater in the livingroom. I can use it for heating, baking or cooking and being castiron, it will store heat for the night.
Checked the spare gas heater in the workshop as a reserve for the dining room or the workshop. Could also use it as a second heater in the kitchen/dining room area if it gets really cold.
Got 3 new rain, wind, cold weather jackets. Put my cold weather bag in the car for this winter.
Extra batteries for the motion sensor lights in the house, I do not need to turn on the lights while walking around the house at night. The lights sense movement, light up for about 30 seconds as we walk by and then shut off. All automatically and only on the ground so you can see where you are walking.
We are slowly getting to know the neighbors and getting ready for an unusually early winter here.
***Say a prayer for our friend in Poland, YerbaMate, he lost his house against the bank because of the corona stress. It was hard to keep paying and he needs to find another place to live...GP
don't forget the defence. You do not need to stockpile food, if You have enough weapons/ammo and knowledge where/who stockpiled it, You may get it on that way...and ofcourse get robbed if You are the victim.
 

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No comment on the defense. No comment on the stockpile of food or getting robbed. Don't even understand where you are coming from at the moment.....
Sounds to me like he is saying don't bother prepping, just become a marauder and take what you need by force from preppers.
 

jayjay

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Worst wheat crop in Russia in 55 years
Not according to this article though;


According to operational data of the Federal customs service of Russia (excluding data on mutual trade with the EAEU member States for August, September and October), as of 15.10.2020, 16.0 million tons of grain were exported in the current 2020/2021 agricultural year, which is 3.5% higher than in the same period last season (15.4 million tons). The volume of wheat exports for the season amounted to 13.4 million tons, barley – 2.2 million tons, corn – 0.34 million tons.

 

Maverick

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don't forget the defence. You do not need to stockpile food, if You have enough weapons/ammo and knowledge where/who stockpiled it, You may get it on that way...and ofcourse get robbed if You are the victim.
What the hell are you talking about?

It's food and water before weapons, so are you saying stock weapons so you can rob those that do stock food and water? Or your statement needs clarification?!?!
 

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Sorry for the confusion. But food and water storage is nothing, if You cannot defend it. Lots of people will focus on weapons and marauding as a (negative) prepping strategy. A minimum strategy against such appoach of negative prepping is camouflage and low Profile keeping. Excessive gardening attract them like flies. But at the end, You have to be prepared to fight them.
 
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tmttactical

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Sorry for the confusion. But food and water storage is nothing, if You cannot defend it. Lots of people will focus on weapons and marauding as a (negative) prepping strategy. A minimum strategy against such appoach of negative prepping is camouflage and low Profile keeping. Excessive gardening attract them like flies. But at the end, You have to be prepared to fight them.
Thank you for the explanation. I was beginning to wonder about you> My bad.
 

Codokaktus

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Thank you for the explanation. I was beginning to wonder about you> My bad.
Thank You for the gentle Response. We should think, how we will be prepared, if our ressources expires, get stolen or destroyed by the desaster. We have to consider to switch into a marauding mode to survive or we have to consider to die just a little bit later than the unprepared. Or let's say, when the doomsday is over, it is like as written in the bible; You may continue to live - in a hell, or go to the heaven.
 

tmttactical

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Thank You for the gentle Response. We should think, how we will be prepared, if our ressources expires, get stolen or destroyed by the desaster. We have to consider to switch into a marauding mode to survive or we have to consider to die just a little bit later than the unprepared. Or let's say, when the doomsday is over, it is like as written in the bible; You may continue to live - in a hell, or go to the heaven.
I do think we have an alternate to Marauding mode. That is scavenging mode. Marauding is taking from other by force. Scavenging is finding abandoned stuff, If your stuff expires (very bad prepping) gets destroyed-very bad luck or poor planing. The final category, stolen supplies, then it won't matter as I will be dead from the firefight "Viva Alamo". Scavengers will have a small chance of surviving. Marauders will be hunted down and killed, if they are not killed during an attack. Learn to find and identify food plants. Learn how to hunt, trap or snare food. learn how to cultivate hidden (guerrilla) gardens, and the big risk will be in defending your supplies. And even that can be minimized by caching your supplies in different places. What is not seen is not stolen. Marauding is only for those that failed to prepare and it leads to a long drop attached to a very short rope.
 

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I do think we have an alternate to Marauding mode. That is scavenging mode. Marauding is taking from other by force. Scavenging is finding abandoned stuff, If your stuff expires (very bad prepping) gets destroyed-very bad luck or poor planing. The final category, stolen supplies, then it won't matter as I will be dead from the firefight "Viva Alamo". Scavengers will have a small chance of surviving. Marauders will be hunted down and killed, if they are not killed during an attack. Learn to find and identify food plants. Learn how to hunt, trap or snare food. learn how to cultivate hidden (guerrilla) gardens, and the big risk will be in defending your supplies. And even that can be minimized by caching your supplies in different places. What is not seen is not stolen. Marauding is only for those that failed to prepare and it leads to a long drop attached to a very short rope.
When the society collapse and teotwawki day is reality, Tribes and/or gangs will rise. The loyalty of the tribers belongs only to the tribe than. Like at stone age. Marauding becomes hunting and gathering and no judge will be there for punishment.
 

tmttactical

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When the society collapse and teotwawki day is reality, Tribes and/or gangs will rise. The loyalty of the tribers belongs only to the tribe than. Like at stone age. Marauding becomes hunting and gathering and no judge will be there for punishment.
The trouble with the "Marauding Tribe" concept, it is like being an old west gunfighter. There is always a bigger, badder and faster gunfighter. The same applies to the marauding tribes. Through out history, there are always other bigger, badder and better trained tribes that eliminate the Marauders. Hunter gathers do not steal for others. Marauders are not classified as hunter gathers, they are classified as thieves and face the retribution of the troubled communities / tribes.
 

David SB

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The trouble with the "Marauding Tribe" concept, it is like being an old west gunfighter. There is always a bigger, badder and faster gunfighter. The same applies to the marauding tribes. Through out history, there are always other bigger, badder and better trained tribes that eliminate the Marauders. Hunter gathers do not steal for others. Marauders are not classified as hunter gathers, they are classified as thieves and face the retribution of the troubled communities / tribes.
Yep and just like the old days, when these tribes form they will concentrate around familiar territory until they start to run dry. By that time rural areas will have defense mechanisms and orgs that will shoot them up if they venture away from their stomping grounds. I know my area will. I don't know about Yankee-land
 

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When the society collapse and teotwawki day is reality, Tribes and/or gangs will rise. The loyalty of the tribers belongs only to the tribe than. Like at stone age. Marauding becomes hunting and gathering and no judge will be there for punishment.
Well, first of all I'd say we have reached TEOTWAWKI months ago. The world we knew in January is no more. But you are talking about WROL (Without rule of law).
There will always be judges in one form or another. Stone age men had no history of law and order, but if it gets to WROL, people will remember what law and order were and will appoint judges if there is no government to appoint them.

We have precedents even in this country. If you can get your hands on a copy of the book about the life of Holt Collier, read it. Shortly after the Civil War, there were rural parts of the South that were without any rule of law, with marauding Union soldiers pillaging peoples homes (with the approval and even encouragement of their officers) and no law to stop them...they were the "law." Collier was a member of a group of vigilantes called the "Delta Rangers" that meted out justice to the marauders.

BTW, Collier was black...
 
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