Drought-ravaged Malawi to receive 260,000 tons of fertilizer donated by Russia, other African countries to follow
Russia has donated 260,000 metric tons of its fertilizer that was sitting in European ports and warehouses for use by farmers in drought-ravaged Malawi and other countries in Africa, the United Nations said.
Welcoming the announcement, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said that “this will serve to alleviate humanitarian needs and prevent catastrophic crop loss in Africa, where it is currently planting season.” He said a ship chartered by the World Food Program (WFP) has already left Europe carrying 20,000 tons of the fertilizer destined for the southeastern African nation of Malawi. Dujarric said it would take about a month to reach Beira, in Mozambique, and then would be transported overland to Malawi, which is a landlocked country. “It will be the first of a series of shipments of fertilizer destined for a number of other countries on the African continent in the coming months,” Dujarric added.
Since the Russia-Ukraine war flared up nine months ago, world fertilizer prices, which were already inflated due to the Covid-19 pandemic, surged further, in part due to quotas Moscow imposed on its fertilizer exports, saying it wanted enough for its own farmers. Fertilizer prices have risen a staggering 250% since the ante-pandemic era in 2019, according to UN data.
Russia is a top global fertilizer exporter. Russia has complained that Western sanctions are to blame for its decrease in fertilizer exports. But Western nations repeatedly stress that they do not sanction food or fertilizer products from Russia. But some shippers, banks, insurers and other companies involved in the transport or purchase of Russian grain and fertilizer have been reluctant to do business with Moscow, fearing they could run afoul of the sanctions.