Professor Sophia Davidova, participated in the Round Table ‘Impact of the war in Ukraine on European/global grain and oilseed market’.
Professor Sophia Davidova, Director of the Centre for European Agri-Envicronmental Studies (CEAS), participated in the Round Table ‘Impact of the war in Ukraine on European/global grain and oilseed market’. The first in a of succession of meetings to set a collaborative research agenda for analysis of the implications of the war on agri-food markets and initiated and organised by academics from the University of Newcastle.
Participants in the discussion included economic modellers from von Thünen Institute of Market Analysis in Braunschweig, Germany, representatives of International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington and the International Grain Council. The participants discussed the first modelling results concerning the effects on wheat and oilseeds international market prices stemming from an interplay between potential crop failure and economic sanctions against Russia, presented by the group from von Thünen Institute.
These results were augmented by an assessment of the capacity of other regions in the world, outside Russia and Ukraine, to smooth the supply shock with larger export flows. The implications for the UN Sustainable Development Goals, in particular eradication of poverty and hunger in developing countries, were also discussed. One of the questions raised was whether learning from the shock of war societies should not try to rely more heavily on local production. This is not a new idea since the evidence from COVID has showed that due to the disintegration of the global agri-food chains there was some reorientation to more local supplies.
The invitation to join the Round Table is a result of a long and fruitful collaboration between Sophia Davidova from the School of Economics, academics from the University of Newcastle and modellers from von Thünen Institute of Market Analysis in Braunschweig, Germany on issues of agriculture and food in Central and Eastern Europe. Over the years this collaboration resulted in a significant number of joint papers and successful bids for European projects. It currently continues with H2020 Trade for Sustainable Development project (TRADE4SD). The war in Ukraine and the potential consequences for the international agri-food markets, food security and poverty required quickly to bring together academics and practitioners with experience of the region and international agri-food markets to review the first attempts of economic modelling of expected food price spikes their drivers and wider consequences.
‘The Round Table is just a start of future collaborative research on expected restructuring of food production and consumption as a result of the war, and their effect on farming and nutrition.’ Davidova told us ‘Once the modelling efforts progress further, another discussion may take place.’