VOA News published an article stating as inflation surges around the world, politicians are scrambling for ways to keep food affordable as people increasingly protest the soaring cost of living. One knee-jerk response has been food export bans aimed at protecting domestic prices and supplies as a growing number of governments in developing nations try to show a nervous public that their needs will be met.
Analysts say food export bans are shortsighted because they have a domino effect of driving up prices.
“I would say that roughly 80 percent of the bans we see are ill-advised — a kind-of, sort-of gut reaction by certain politicians,” said senior research fellow David Laborde, who is credited with the IFPRI tool, Food & Fertilizer Export Restrictions Tracker. “In the world where you will be the only one to do it, that can make sense,” he said. “But in a world where other countries can also do it, actually that’s far from being a good idea.” Laborde said bans are “a very selfish policy … because you try to get better by making things worse for others.” The list of food export restrictions Laborde has been tracking since the COVID-19 pandemic is long and changes constantly.