President Biden and the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture are expected to visit a farm in Illinois on Wednesday at a time of deep concern over rising food prices and the availability of food in the poorest parts of the world. Biden is expected to discuss how the Russian invasion of Ukraine is driving up food prices and how US farmers can help alleviate the global food shortage, according to the White House.
Food prices have skyrocketed globally, due to supply chain disruptions, bad weather, energy costs and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Russia, Belarus and Ukraine are key producers of fertilizers, wheat, corn and other products, and many of these products were trapped due to the invasion. At the same time more than 40 countries they have begun to restrict exports of cereals, oils and other key products as governments try to protect their stocks amid rising costs and shortages.
During a Congressional hearing Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen said the United States was “terribly concerned about global food supplies,” adding that 275 million people around the world face hunger.
Food prices in the United States are also rising. The price of food rose 0.9% in April from the previous month, according to data released Wednesday.
Whether the US can significantly increase production remains to be seen. But the visit to a farm in Kankakee, Illinois comes when Mr. Biden, under pressure for the faster pace of inflation over 40 years, he tries to reassure Americans that his administration is taking price increases seriously.