THE Ukrainian crisis has emphasised our importance for global food security and trust in trade relationships.
This was the message from Dr Keith Suter, a global futurist and media commentator, when he spoke to a gathering of more than 120 people at the Forging New Horizons Pasture Agronomy Conference Wagga this week.
While Russia is currently invading Ukraine Dr Suter said producers must not lose sight of the importance agriculture plays and what it means in the current conflict.
With Ukraine producing 70 per cent of sunflower oil exports, there was already disruption to world supply.
Fertiliser supplies had also been impacted and the energy crisis was exacerbated due to the war.
Dr Suter said the influence of agriculture was magnified during the current conflict. "The world's largest wheat exporter had invaded the world's fourth-largest wheat exporter ... this is a tragedy for Russian farmers," he said.
"There are no easy replacements to Russian exports," he said.
Dr Suter said food shortages were creating increased cost of living pressures currently exacerbated the slow global economic recovery.
"Eighty per cent of the 100 million Egyptians rely on Ukraine/Russian food exports, and 50 per cent in Lebanon ... both countries are currently in crisis," he said.
While the situation was grim Dr Suter said, depending on how long the Russian/Ukraine conflict continued, Australia may have extra markets to fill the vacuum caused by imminent supply issues.
Meanwhile, Dr Suter said just because an action by a politician seemed "mad" didn't mean it wouldn't occur.
"Commentators (including myself) were convinced that Putin would not invade (Ukraine)," he said.
In terms of moving forward Dr Suter said the current events highlighted that the global food supply was next battleground.
"Farming is the most important job in the world. "
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.