G7 ministers vow action to prevent food crisis

BERLIN (Jiji Press) — The Group of Seven agriculture ministers on Friday pledged to take action to prevent a food crisis that may happen if food supplies are disrupted as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“We remain determined to do what is necessary to prevent and respond to a food crisis, including with humanitarian aid, and stand ready to act as needed to address potential disruptions,” the ministers said in a joint statement after an online meeting.

Wheat and other food commodity prices are soaring on concern about supply disruptions because both Ukraine and Russia are major grain exporters.

“We are all appalled by and condemn the large-scale aggression by the Russian Federation against the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine,” the statement said.

Expressing deep concern about the impacts on food security and the rising number of people suffering from hunger, the G7 ministers promised to “help facilitate harvests in Ukraine and ensure the ability of Ukrainian farmers to feed their population and to contribute to global food security.”

“We will not tolerate artificially inflated prices,” the ministers said, showing their resolve to fight “any speculative behavior that endangers food security or access to food for vulnerable countries or populations.”

They also urged “all countries to keep their food and agricultural markets open and to guard against any unjustified restrictive measures on their exports.”

At the online meeting, Japanese agriculture minister Genjiro Kaneko called for unity among the G7 major powers.

“It is necessary for the Russian military to withdraw from Ukraine immediately in order to realize a fundamental solution” of the current crisis, Kaneko also said.