Former President of the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), Dr Shahid Rasheed Butt, said the sanctions against Russia are destabilizing the global economic system.
In a statement published here on Sunday, he warned that if the ban on fertilizers and nutrients for Russian crops was not lifted immediately, food prices would rise further around the world and this would lead to a famine situation in many countries.
Dr Shahid Rashid Butt said Russia is a major exporter of many types of fertilizers, crop nutrients and chemicals and a prolonged ban on these products will plunge the world into a terrible food crisis.
Ukraine is also a major exporter of agricultural products, fertilizers and other chemicals. He reduced the export of many items and banned the export of fertilizers, which worsened the situation.
He said that besides oil, gas, the war also pushed the price of fertilizers to new highs, which drove up the prices of wheat, corn and other raw materials. Many countries meet 80-90% of their fertilizer needs through imports from Russia, while many countries, including NATO member countries, rely on Russia to feed their people.
Butt said many countries are taking various steps to end their dependence on Russian agricultural products, but it will take years.
Taking advantage of the current situation, companies producing and marketing agricultural products in many countries may try to make additional profits, which will aggravate the crisis, he warned.
Pakistan is facing a severe shortage of wheat, which needs to be imported without delay. There is also a serious shortage of urea. Therefore, about two hundred thousand tons should be imported well in time to save the Kharif crop, lest it become expensive in the international market, he said.—INP