Editorial: Fertilizer Shortage Deepens World Food Crisis

October 31, 2023

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One of the many benefits of the Barnabas-funded rice milling machine in South-East Asia is the production of organic fertilizer from animals fed with rice bran.

This fertilizer is helping Christian farmers in rural areas increase their crop yield.

The significance of this aspect of our rice milling project was highlighted recently by reports of a global shortage of fertilizer. This shortage is a contributing factor in the ongoing global food crisis. 

food.gives boxes are unloaded for distribution among hungry Christians in Namibia.

More than 345 million people around the world are facing acute levels of food insecurity in 2023, and do not know where their next meal is coming from.

That number has more than doubled since 2020, according to the World Food Program.

A deadly combination of factors is driving the crisis, including war, disease, and extreme weather events such as floods and droughts. Added to this is the global shortage of fertilizer.

The Covid-19 pandemic, armed conflict, and higher natural gas prices have all contributed to falling fertilizer production and – in turn – higher fertilizer prices, which at times have increased by as much as 300 percent.

Desperate Food Shortages

Among the hardest hit are the smallholder farmers who feed the majority of people in sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia.

No longer able to afford enough fertilizer to feed their crops, the farmers see their harvests  diminishing. The result is desperate food shortages and inflated food prices.

On a global scale, higher fertilizer prices mean that there is less food available at a time when people need it the most.

The Bible tells us that whoever has food should share it with those who have none (Luke 3:11). We also have a particular duty of care for our Christian family (Galatians 6:10).

Barnabas is responding to the global food crisis through our food.gives project. We share food given by Christians, through Christians, to Christians suffering from hunger around the world.

Can you support this vitally important work? Go to food.gives to find out more about how you or your church can give food and other practical aid to our brothers and sisters in lands of poverty and persecution.

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