Soaring Prices, Rotting Crops: Coronavirus Triggers Global Food Crisis
The COVID-19 pandemic occurred during a plentiful harvest season as nearly no countries faced food shortages. However, analysis supports that after transport disruptions, restrictions, and processing breakdowns, the global food supply will face severe difficulties and may put vulnerable regions at risk. Food prices for necessities such as rice and wheat have skyrocketed over the past several months due to panic buying and COVID-19 lockdowns.
Lockdown measures have also made it difficult to move produce from farms to markets, as well as processing plants and ports. This has resulted in food being left to rot in fields. At the same time, widespread financial difficulties have hindered the food industry as well. Currency devaluations in developing nations that depend on oil or tourism have elevated these problems, making imported food even less affordable. The World Food Program has warned that up to 36 nations could face famines by the end of the year, affecting over 130 million people.