Global rice production to plunge by 10%, hundreds of millions to be affected
04/22/2022 // Ethan Huff // Views

The world's largest rice-producing countries are having difficulties planting their normal crop this year due to soaring fertilizer prices, which the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) warned could send harvests plunging by as much as 10 percent next season.

China, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Vietnam are all struggling to keep up with fertilizer inflation, which on the current trajectory will result in 36 million fewer tons of rice at the next harvest. This amount of rice is enough to feed half a billion people, Bloomberg reported.

"Chemical fertilizers, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, are the most applied nutrients for high-yielding rice cultivation," reported Zero Hedge.

"Farmers have been particularly vulnerable to soaring fertilizer prices as some have reduced the amount of nutrients to save costs. This threatens future harvests as production declines could stoke food inflation for a crop that feeds half of humanity."

Humnath Bhandari, a senior agricultural economist at IRRI, made sure to point out that this 10 percent reduction estimate is a "very conservative estimate." If the conflict in Ukraine continues – because this seems to be taking the blame for everything these days ever since the plandemic mostly faded away – the true figure could be much higher.

A full-blown food crisis could ensue, he further warned, which the United Nations is also warning about in its own reports. (Related: Ukraine has also cut off exports of grain and meat, which will worsen the problem even more.)


"Russia and Belarus are big suppliers of every major type of crop nutrient," Zero Hedge added.

"Western countries have sanctioned both, which have limited fertilizer shipments to the rest of the world, crimping supply and why prices are soaring. On top of this, Moscow has reduced or halted nutrient exports."

In some areas, nutrient costs have increased by 300 percent over the past year

Nguyen Binh Phong, the owner of a fertilizer shop in Vietnam's Kien Giang province, told the media that nutrient costs in that area have increased threefold over the past year. Consequently, many farmers have had to reduce fertilizer use by up to 20 percent, resulting in lower yields.

"When the farmers cut fertilizer use, they accept that they will get lower profit," Phong said.

Another major problem unique to rice is that the price of it has gone down, even as prices for most other things have gone up. This means that farmers are already struggling due to lower profits, which will only get even lower if they are unable to afford or access crop fertilizer.

In order to maintain some semblance of social order, governments across Asia have kept rice prices low. Some of them are even offering generous fertilizer subsidies to keep farmers growing it with high yields.

India will reportedly spend $20 billion this year to help shield its farmers from soaring nutrient costs, up from the $14 billion it was planning to spend before Russia invaded Ukraine.

According to Bhandari, however, it is "inevitable" that rice prices will go higher in the future.

"It has to be reflected somewhere," he said.

Global food prices, meanwhile, remain at record highs, which will only get higher if the 2023 shortage predictions pan out as expected. This will almost certainly result in even more social unrest and chaos around the world as the dominoes of the global economy continue to tumble as part of the controlled demolition.

"Rice, if properly stored, has no known shelf-life limit," noted one commenter at Zero Hedge. "You are not going to get any food which is as cheap as rice and lasts as long as rice."

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