"Never let a crisis go to waste," those were the words of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Chief Samantha Power on "This Week" Sunday. She explained the emerging global food crisis would transition farmers toward a green new world.
"We're working with farmers to also increase their production so you actually have more supply brought on the market.
"Fertilizer shortages are real now because Russia's a big exporter of fertilizer, and even though fertilizer is not sanctioned, less fertilizer is coming out of Russia.
"As a result, we're working with countries to think about natural solutions like manure and compost, and this may hasten transitions that would have been in the interest of farmers to make eventually, anyway. So, never let a crisis go to waste," Power said.
Power noted global food prices are up 34% over the last year, which has promoted USAID to request emergency assistance from Congress to ease shortages in countries heavily reliant on grain from Russia and Ukraine. She said her agency works hard with farmers to transition their use of chemical fertilizers to "natural solutions."
However, farmers worldwide are already reducing chemical fertilizer, which may threaten yields come harvest time. Lower yields may exacerbate the food crisis.
The U.N.'s World Food Programme (WFP) warned that a toxic combination of the conflict in Ukraine, economic disruptions due to COVID-19, and bad harvests, are driving food prices to record highs.
WFP pointed out millions of Middle Eastern and North African families struggle to buy even the most basic foods to keep hunger at bay.
"People's resilience is at a breaking point. This crisis is creating shock waves in the food markets that touch every home in this region. No one is spared," Corinne Fleischer, WFP Regional Director said.
President Biden recently said that food shortages are "gonna be real," pledging that the U.S. and other countries will increase grain supplies to lessen the blow.
Power's comment comes weeks after Rockefeller Foundation President Rajiv Shah told Bloomberg Television's David Westin a "massive, immediate food crisis" is on the horizon.
Remember what Power's said at the beginning: "Never let a crisis go to waste."