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Current Affairs

Breadbasket region

Date: 15 March 2022 Tags: World Economy


The war in Ukraine is threatening food security of the world, especially due to shortage of wheat.



The global food supply chain is highly dependent on cheap wheat being exported from Ukraine as well as Russia.



  • The Black Sea region in Europe is known as the breadbasket of the world for large wheat farms.

  • Many countries of Europe, Africa and Asia rely on the vast, fertile farmlands for their food supply.


Reasons for shortage

  • Ukrainian farmers are forced to flee their farms due to fear of lives. Many of them have joined Ukrainian army to fight Russian forces.

  • Ukrainian ports that export wheat to other parts of the world have been shut due to Russian attacks.

  • Russian wheat exports are also impacted due to sanctions imposed by western bloc against trade.



  • The prices of wheat have risen by 55% since the start of the war. Countries relying on affordable prices from Ukraine will be severely hit.

  • Ukraine has already banned export of wheat, buckwheat, corn, oats and cattle for domestic use.

  • Countries dominated by bread diet like middle-east will face severe shortages due to war. Many of the citizens in these countries survive on subsidized breads.

  • The prices of farm feed made out of wheat have been increased. This will cause rise in price of dairy and meat.


Farming in Ukraine

  • Russia and Ukraine account for almost 30 percent of global wheat exports, almost 20 percent of corn exports, and more than 80 percent of the world supply of sunflower oil. 

  • Ukraine forms a major part of global wheat and barley growing regions. It is a major supplier of corn and the global leader in sunflower oil.


Impact on India

India is one of the largest importers of sunflower oil. Shortages of supply could raise the already high price of cooking oil.