Supply Chain

Short Term
People doing shopping at marts may have noticed stocks are a bit thinner at some aisles. At the same time, there are reports of farmers discarding produce. These two phenomena are due to disruptions in the supply chain. For though there is demand and supply, the link between the two is frayed. For example, farmers produce in bulk, but home cooks buy in small portions: it is the supply chain that adds essential parcelling. Farmers not being able to sell is not good news, for next season, they might plant less.

Medium Term
The medium term threat is a retreat from trade, rationing of exports,, disruption of shipping, ports and warehousing. Add to the mix a possible bad harvest season or two, whether due to the farmers cutting back because they couldn't sell much this season or the closing down of food processing plants due to bug outbreaks. This may be an opportune time to look at local food production. If there is no rice or wheat, can folks live on tubers like in the old days? And if so, how long does a tuber take to grow?

At a severe pinch, countries may need to make do with rationing and guided food production - if they had planned sufficiently ahead. Likely, there will be less variety and less meat, as farm animals compete for food with humans. Ramadan starts tomorrow. It is said one aspect of Ramadan is austerity. Taken in the spirit of Ramadan, one shouldn't be daunted by austerity. Wishing Muslim readers a safe Ramadan.