National Black Farmers Association Warns Biden Administration of Upcoming Food Shortages

A handful of wheat berries in the hands of an agricultural worker, showing off the fruits of a hard days work.
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Food shortages could be coming soon unless the U.S. government intervenes to bring down the cost of fuel and fertilizer, warns the National Black Farmers Association.

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President John W. Boyd, Jr., a fourth-generation farmer who founded the nonprofit in 1995 (now representing tens of thousands of African-American food producers and their families), recently told Fox News, that if action isn’t taken, “we’re going to see empty food shelves in the coming months.”

“The administration isn’t talking enough about the plight of what’s going on with Americans,” said Boyd. “We’re losing farmers every year that we don’t take action, and that’s going to help, but it’s going to hurt us here at home.

“The high cost of food – that’s going to affect every American that walks into the supermarket … we have to find a way to invest in infrastructure for farmers and put farmers first and put more small-scale farmers back into business.”

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His warning comes at a time when food prices have skyrocketed amid inflation, and more farmers are forced to abandon crops as the cost of goods to produce food has surged. As the World Bank Group noted in May, the cost of fertilizer, in particular, has increased by 30% in 2022, coming off an already steep 80% increase in 2021, and it’s expected to keep climbing amid restrictions with international sanctions and exports.

As GOBankingRates previously reported, last December the Family Farm Action Alliance urged the U.S. Department of Justice to look into the fertilizer price hikes to see if they were being caused by “market manipulation.” U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack sent a swift warning to manufacturers to not exploit the Ukraine conflict by price gouging.

In his own case, Boyd cited paying $1,100 per ton of fertilizer in 2022, a jump from $400 a ton in 2021, and fuel costs are adding to the dilemma. 

“You have the high cost of fuel, the high cost of fertilizer and lime and all of these upfront costs for America’s farmers, and we haven’t done anything in place to fix that,” Boyd shared, adding that the end result could be ghost shelves at grocery stores like Americans witnessed at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“We’re heading for a food shortage in this country where you have different regions of the world, such as Ukraine, that won’t be producing enough commodities such as corn, wheat and soybeans. All of these things are going to affect us here at home,” Boyd added.

He’s putting pressure on the Biden Administration to “put American farmers first,” criticizing the federal aid given to help the crisis in Ukraine as well as to fight a food famine in Northern Africa and not allocating the same funding to this serious homegrown issue.

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“I’m sure those African countries definitely need the support, but we also have to take care of those that are at home, and the Biden administration isn’t moving and acting swiftly enough to address the farm crisis,” Boyd told Fox News, also claiming that he was set to have a meeting with the administration at the White House, but it’s yet to be scheduled.

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About the Author

Selena Fragassi joined GOBankingRates.com in 2022, adding to her 15 years in journalism with bylines in Spin, Paste, Nylon, Popmatters, The A.V. Club, Loudwire, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Magazine and others. She currently resides in Chicago with her rescue pets and is working on a debut historical fiction novel about WWII. She holds a degree in fiction writing from Columbia College Chicago.
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