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The DA calls on the UN to ensure that agricultural products can circulate freely.

MANILA, Philippines — Following prior warnings about a “looming global food crisis” and rising global inflation, the Department of Agriculture (DA) encouraged the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (UN-FAO) to advocate for continued global agricultural market transactions on Tuesday.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar said in a statement that the UN-FAO must lead the worldwide campaign for “unrestricted mobility of food and agricultural inputs.”

Dar’s appeal came as a result of the ongoing crisis between Ukraine and Russia, which has resulted in a decrease in wheat and other agricultural products.

Dar said in a virtual press conference that they have observed various countries halting food and production input exports, resulting in stricter restrictions.

Argentina, Algeria, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kosovo, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Ukraine, Russia, and Turkey were among the countries that participated.

“The first reason is that these countries prioritize the protection of their populations, their [people], over the global market,” he explained in Filipino.

The Philippine Statistics Authority reported on Tuesday that May inflation was 5.4 percent, up from 4.9 percent in April and 4.1 percent in May 2021.

Dar pointed out that rising commodity prices are not just affecting the Philippines, but also the rest of the world, particularly for rice, corn, soybeans, sugar, and wheat.

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