The Causes of Hunger Are Manipulation of Food Prices and Corporate Land Grabbing

CAPITALISM, 7 Aug 2023

Manlio Dinucci | Global Research – TRANSCEND Media Service

Headline: “Russia starves the world, Italy’s Meloni confirms it.” The accusation that Russia is starving Africa by blocking Ukrainian grain shipments, falls in the face that all of the grain from Ukraine went to EU countries, not to poorer nations, to which only 2 ships out of 87 were sent.  

31 Jul 2023 – At the United Nations Food Systems Summit, Italy’s President Meloni confirmed the West’s accusation against Russia: 

“Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine has exacerbated food insecurity in many African nations, had a major impact on the distribution of grains around the world exacerbating the global food security crisis. This would be the cause of the fact that 30 percent of humanity, 2.4 billion people, do not have access to adequate food, that more than 700 million people (according to official default estimates) are chronically undernourished, i.e., condemned to premature death from starvation.

What the real causes are is indicated by the World Bank’s own data: while wholesale prices of agricultural products and cereals have fallen by 4 percent and 12 percent respectively in one year, food prices have risen worldwide, often by 10 percent or more, affecting low-income countries the most. What the real causes of hunger are is shown by the growing phenomenon of “land grabbing”: the grabbing of arable land in Africa and other regions by large speculative groups. The same ones that speculate on all commodities, including grains: more than 6 million commodity buying and selling contracts are entered into daily at the Chicago Commodity Exchange for speculative purposes. 

The accusation that Russia is starving Africa because it is blocking Ukrainian grain shipments falls in the face of the fact that almost all of the grain sent by Ukraine went to European Union countries, not to poorer nations, to which only two ships out of 87 were sent.  

At the Second Russia-Africa Summit it was announced that Russia exported more than 11 million tons of grain to Africa last year and nearly 10 million tons in the first six months of 2023. All this took place despite illegal sanctions imposed on Russian exports.  In the coming months Russia will supply 50,000 tons of wheat each to Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe, Mali, Somalia, Central African Republic, and Eritrea, delivered at no cost.


Manlio Dinucci is a research associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization, a geographer, and geopolitical scientist. In the 1980s, he directed the magazine Lotta per la Pace (born from “Appeal against the installation of nuclear missiles in Italy”) and was Executive Director for Italy of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, winner of the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize. His latest books are L’arte della guerra/Annali della strategia USA/NATO 1990-2016, Zambon 2016; and Guerra Nucleare Il Giorno Prima, Zambon Editore; 2017.

This article was originally published on byoblu in Italian.

Copyright © Manlio Dinucci, Global Research, 2023

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