Irish dairy and beef farmers call for harvest amid fears of Ukraine shortage

Agriculture ministers from G7 countries, including Britain’s George Eustace, are urging Irish dairy and beef farmers to start growing crops as they prepare for Friday’s meeting to discuss grain shortages and food price instability in the wake of the Ukraine war.

There are growing fears that consumers will face rising fuel prices as well as rising prices for key items such as bread, which will disrupt grain supplies.

Ukraine, once known as the bread basket of Europe, said on Wednesday it was banning exports of rye, barley, buckwheat, buckwheat, sugar, salt and meat for the rest of the year.

Together with Russia, it supplies 30% of the world’s wheat and barley, fearing shortages since World War II when British consumers were encouraged to plant vegetables in gardens, backyards and rooftops.

Official data shows Ukraine supplies 20% of the UK’s cereals. Vicky Campbell, a market expert at the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), says wheat futures prices – grain bought on May 22 – have risen for six days in a row.

On 18 February, just days before the war, wheat was trading at 20 220 a tonne in London, but rose to 9 289.50 when the market closed on Tuesday.

“We know that supply chains are going to face additional costs. Fuel and processing costs are rising for everyone. If we look at the bread burden, 10% of the bread you get in the supermarket is made from wheat and 90% comes from other parts of the supply chain and we know that other parts of the supply chain like fuel. , Did not shield, ”he said.

Ronald Kers, chief executive of Sister Food Group, the UK’s largest chicken producer, told the Times that the cost of raising a chicken has risen by 50% since last January and he hoped food inflation would surpass forecasts.

Campbell said the market was already squeezed by deficits caused by drought in the United States and Canada last year. AHDB says fertilizer prices have also risen due to dependence on natural gas.

Irish Agriculture Minister Charlie McConnell has called on farmers to grow more crops to alleviate food shortages caused by the Russian aggression. Farmers are appealing to the government to issue € 2,000 (£ 1,670) vouchers to help fertilize their crops and land for winter animals.

Irish farms are dominated by beef and dairy producers, 60% of the grain is imported.

“Food security is really important in the next few weeks and months and this is something we need to work together,” he told RT7.

The Weekend report stressed that farmers would be instructed to cultivate crops – for the first time since World War II – and McConnell said: And they should look into it and consider their options. “

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