The Famine Thread

caledhel

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Given the premonitions of famine precipitated by the Covid 19 crisis and massive locust swarms moving across the axle of Asia and East Africa perhaps it's helpful to start a thread to post news on it.

Spot Prices of food commodities

Rice
Wheat
Corn

Article on locusts from May 12
Gigantic new locust swarms hit East Africa

Locust Watch - updates

Just a reminder of what the Ethiopian famine (1984) was like.


And Sudan (2015)



There's a famine in Yemen at the moment.

There are also concerns across the Arabian penisula through Pakistan, India and into Western China. 10s of millions are at risk of malnutrition and death.
 


Talk Back

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Given the premonitions of famine precipitated by the Covid 19 crisis and massive locust swarms moving across the axle of Asia and East Africa perhaps it's helpful to start a thread to post news on it.

Spot Prices of food commodities

Rice
Wheat
Corn

Article on locusts from May 12
Gigantic new locust swarms hit East Africa

Locust Watch - updates

Just a reminder of what the Ethiopian famine (1984) was like.


And Sudan (2015)



There's a famine in Yemen at the moment.

There are also concerns across the Arabian penisula through Pakistan, India and into Western China. 10s of millions are at risk of malnutrition and death.
Maybe if the leaders of these countries buy one or two less multi-million fighter jets, they would have more money to develop their own country and feed their own people.
 

caledhel

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Maybe if the leaders of these countries buy one or two less multi-million fighter jets, they would have more money to develop their own country and feed their own people.
It hasn't really registered yet but there are some murmurs.

"Numerous countries in the eastern part of the African continent are grappling with an increasing number of desert locusts. Swarms are currently affecting Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. Some of these countries are grappling with the worst outbreak in over 25 years. Rural areas are particularly at risk given famine conditions in many regions. Lutheran World Relief is assessing the situation, communicating with its partners and staff in affected countries as well as contacts in the governments and other NGOs."

Situation Report: East Africa Locust Swarm

Coinciding with COVID-19, an upsurge of desert locusts is taking place in the Horn of Africa, Arabian Peninsula and Southwest Asia, with risk of spreading to the Sahel region of Africa if it is not stopped by July.
...
The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is responding in Somalia, which is estimated to be hardest hit. Communities have already reported that more than half of their cultivated land was affected.

The double burden of COVID-19 and locusts in East Africa: Saving Millions of People From Hunger and Malnutrition - Somalia

I think you have a point about the misallocation of funds. I checked the websites of national news sites in Kenya, Sudan and Uganda. It's not active news on any of them so maybe everything's alright.

The Guardian have a piece from today.

‘Rolling emergency’ of locust swarms decimating Africa, Asia and Middle East
 

McTell

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Not only have the african populations grown beyond what the continent can feed, but a natural disaster like this is never far away.

Locusts have a cycle, and have every right to eat what's in front of them. How do they know a field has been lovingly planted by another (of god's) species?

This has all the makings of another emo shakedown.
 

caledhel

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There are large stocks of foodstuffs available at good prices.

"At its annual Ag Outlook Forum, the USDA also projected a wheat crop of 1.836 billion bushels, down 4% from 2019; a rice crop of 232.5 million cwt, up 26% from last year; and cotton production of 19.5 million bales, down 3%. Meat and dairy production was forecast at record highs.
...
Growers will plant 94 million acres of corn, the largest acreage since 2013, setting the stage for a harvest of 15.46 billion bushels, up 13% from last year and topping the mark of 15.148 billion bushels set in 2016, said USDA. “The U.S. corn outlook for 2020/2021 is for record production and domestic use, increased exports, and higher ending stocks.” It said end stocks would rise to 2.637 billion bushels, the largest since 1988’s 4. 26 billion."

The largest corn crop ever is coming, USDA says

"Brussels, 8 June 2020 - In its third forecast for the 2020 crop, COCERAL sees the total grain crop in the EU-27+UK at 299.2 mln t. This is down from the 301.8 mln t seen in the second forecast in March and 12.6 mln t down from the 2019 level of 311.8 mln t.

Wheat production (excluding durum) is seen at 129.7 mln t down from the previous 135.4 mln t and from last year’s 146.8 mln t. The downward revision is mainly due to a significant yield reduction in France, Germany, and Denmark due to dryness.

The EU’s 2020 barley production is now forecast at 63.4 mln t, up from the 61.5 mln t seen in the previous forecast and from the 62.1 mln t last year. This is also due to a higher than previously expected crop in Spain.

The EU’s 2020 corn crop is revised up to 66.8 mln t from the previous forecast of 65.5 mln t. Last year’s crop was at 64.9 mln t. The corn acreage is seen benefiting from the wet planting campaign for winter grains. It is therefore seen at 9.2 mln ha versus 8.6 mln ha in 2019. The most notable year-on-year increases in production are expected for France and Germany."

June 2020

Bulk sea freight prices are low due to plentiful capacity.

"The transatlantic C8 closed the week up +875 to $4075 with some suggesting that level to be quite generous considering the serious lack of business."

Weekly Dry Report - The Baltic Briefing

There's no shortage of money especially to protect key sectors from dystrophy.

Quantitative Easing (QE) Definition

Perhaps these regions could be markets for machinery and other sectoral investments to increase food productivity using a co-op model for local farmers.
 

caledhel

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United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said Tuesday that nearly 50 million more people are expected to enter “extreme poverty” due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has also impacted global food distribution.


“There is more than enough food in the world to feed our population of 7.8 billion people, but today, more than 820 million people are hungry," Guterres said in a policy brief on food security Tuesday. “Our food systems are failing, and the COVID-19 pandemic is making things worse."

UN warns 'food systems are failing' amid coronavirus pandemic
 

galteeman

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The populations of Sudan and Ethiopia have quadrupled in the last 50 years.
 

jmcc

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If we do see a massive famine then it will be deliberately negligent.
Probably a bit late for that. There will be those who will use this famine for their own geo-political purposes. There will only be one constant and that is that people will die while the Gretans virtue signal.
 

derryman

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No. Many have natural causes. The problems arise in dealing with their consequences.
The loss of food in a given area may be natural.
The consequence of that is due to neglect by decision or disnterest. There has always been enough resource and food for all.
 

caledhel

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Strange days. Gurgaon is beside New Dehli, in the heart of Northern India though not in it's breadbasket. The harvest season there was slowed by the Covid lockdown so there may be a lot of crops still in the field.


There are also plagues of locusts in Argentina and Brazil but they don't seem to be dangerous as those in Africa and Asia.

"In Argentina, both SENASA and the Buenos Aires grain exchange said they were less worried by the locust swarm than issues of dry weather impacting crops.

“For now (the swarm) is not a problem, we are more concerned about the humidity issue for wheat planting than locusts,” said Esteban Copati, head of agricultural estimates at the exchange, who added the swarm was moving over a marginal farming areas.

The pests have raised concerns in Brazil. A representative from the Aprosoja growers association in Rio Grande do Sul said they feared the locusts would enter the state where corn is still being harvested and wheat being grown."

Argentina, Brazil monitor massive locust swarm; crop damage seen limited

Nevertheless it does suggest a less productive harvest than normal although not constituting a threat to local supplies there.
 

galteeman

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The population of Haryana state has doubled in the last 40 years.
 


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