Agriculture, food and war in Ukraine – CIDSE

Agriculture, food and war in Ukraine

Analysis in 11 questions

A document to understand a complex situation and to demonstrate why some solutions could be counterproductive by CCFD-Terre Solidaire, Fondation pour la Nature et l’Homme, Friends of the Earth France, Greenpeace, Action Against Hunger and FNAB.
May 2022

Since the beginning of the Russian aggression in Ukraine, food prices have already risen by 16.9% and 170 million people have fallen into extreme poverty worldwide. In response, the European Commission has opted for “producing more”, for example by recultivating areas of ecological interest (fallow land). This vision, leading to emergency measures, is however far from the reality of the situation: the current price hike is not so much due to a lack of supply, but to structurally deficient international markets.

  • What are the real causes of soaring food prices?
  • Which countries and populations will be most affected by the situation in the coming months?
  • Should we produce more in Europe to “feed the world”?
  • Is agroecology a solution to fight food insecurity and preserve ecosystems?
  • What is the level of independence, sustainability and resilience of European agriculture?

These questions, as well as many others, keep coming up in the news. Faced with this situation, six organisations, including CCFD-Terre Solidaire – CIDSE’s French member organisation – are proposing a joint decoding aimed at highlighting the complexity of agricultural and food issues at stake in this crisis and at deconstructing certain statements that have emerged in recent weeks.  This decoding is essential in order to correctly understand the upcoming surge in food prices and to prevent short-term solutions that would ultimately jeopardize global food security, while precipitating the collapse of biodiversity and climate disruption.

Discover the 11 questions to decode the situation:

  1. What are the consequences of the Russian assault in Ukraine on agriculture and food around the world?
  2. Which countries and populations will be most affected in the coming months by this war’s impact on agriculture and food?
  3. Do we need to produce more in Europe to “feed the world”?
  4. Is it worth allowing production on ecological focus areas (including fallow land)?
  5. Does the “farm to fork” strategy imply degrowth, and should it be questioned?
  6. How is the industrial and globalised agricultural and food system counterproductive in the fight against hunger?
  7. How can agroecology be a long-term solution to fight food insecurity and protect ecosystems?
  8. Is France contributing to the growth of sustainable agricultural and food systems in developing countries?
  9. To what extent is agriculture in France independent, sustainable and resilient?
  10. Is it possible to rapidly reduce livestock in France and the EU, and what should be the long-term consequences?
  11. Is it beneficial to reduce agrofuels in the midst of an energy crisis?

Additional reading
The What, How and Why of the global food crisis”, CIDSE interview with Valentin Brochard, Food Sovereignty Advocacy Officer at CCFD Terre Solidaire, May 2022

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