Belarus is strong competitor for global food corporations
While the food crisis is unfolding in Europe against the background of growing prices and a shortage of certain goods, Belarus continues to develop its agricultural sphere. The country’s successes are not to the liking of major global players, so sanctions are imposed. Aleksei Avdonin, an analyst with the Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies, commented on the issue in his talk with Alfa Radio.
A number of countries have decided not to export food, and the purchase of potash fertilisers from Belarus and Russia has stopped due the Western sanctions. Sales of wheat and corn are almost not registered. India plans to restrict sugar exports, while Malaysia has banned sales of poultry to foreign states. Some countries stop supplying palm oil. Chinese media report that the continent residents have to ask themselves of whether they are able to have three meals a day now. Food prices have skyrocketed around the globe, and the European Union is already experiencing the consequences of its sanctions policy.
“Foreign media platforms are now actively discussing food related issues and growing prices on all products, including raw materials. In many ways, they are trying to blame Russia for this, although everything is the opposite in reality. Actually, sanctions were imposed not by Moscow against itself, but by Western countries. So the question is why are they doing this. Why are they so artfully raising prices, in a speculative way? There are no restrictions on exports of certain products yet, thought the market is already responding to some news that this or that country will impose bans. Information is being manipulated, and a purposeful work to increase the value of exchange-traded goods is in full swing. It means that someone makes good money on this,” Mr. Avdonin explained.
According to the expert, large corporations – that established control over the food market after WWII – are primarily in mind. "Let us remember the 1990s and 2000s. What did large corporations aim to achieve then? They wished GMO products to enter the market. Many countries banned them, and it was a general trend. At present, in conditions of a de facto shortage of products and rising prices, the GMO topic can be lifted in many countries. As a result, corporations will gain access to lands to grow modified products there. This is certainly dangerous, but it is also a certain end in itself for corporations," he noted.
Mr. Avdonin stressed that Belarusian specialists have deep understanding of what is happening, setting a goal ‘not just to respond to information waves, but to understand who is behind all this’.
“Belarus will have enough food for its citizens. Over the past 30 years, the country has invested much in agricultural development – though it has been severely criticised for that by the notorious corporations: it was in their interests that we should not produce our own, but buy from them. Imagine if we did not develop our agriculture, and a crisis emerged – then where would we give our foreign exchange earnings? This money would have gone to buy food!” he explained.
However, instead, Belarus ‘not only consumes what it produces, but it also exports products abroad’. Major market players are not satisfied with such a situation, of course.
“Definitely, Belarus is a very strong competitor for such food corporations, so they want to strangle us in all possible ways: through sanctions pressure, discrediting, and so on. At the same time, people always need food, and many states are now looking for opportunities to purchase products from Belarus and Russia – despite the imaginary sanctions imposed by the West,” Mr. Avdonin stressed.