What a week it was!


What a week it was, driving the long way to the Romanian border, crossing the border by foot just like my wife and children did a week before.

Leaving the farm in Ukraine was not my own wish, but the pronounced wish of the Ukrainian Agrarian Council, a farmers organization with over 1.100 members representing 3.5 million hectares of agricultural land. They basically ordered me to go to Europe to tell the world about the disaster that is heading towards us if large parts of the 36 million hectares of arable land in Ukraine will not be planted in the coming weeks.

No export

If the war is not stopped before the end of March, no export can come from Ukraine after summer this year. This will affect mostly the already instable countries of Northern Africa and the Middle East. Food prices could easily double compared to the prices in January 2022, which will make bread unaffordable for the people in these regions.

Russia has already closed its borders for wheat-export and Ukraine’s export is effectively closed due to the closing of Ukrainian ports by Russian warships. The wheat prices in China are already skyrocketing and the current Chinese wheat crop is in a miserable condition. If there is no harvest this summer in Ukraine, there will be a huge deficit in wheat and other grains on the world market.

This war is a silent killer with huge incalculable global consequences. If the people in Northern Africa and the middle east will not be able to buy bread anymore, they won’t wait and sit back until they have died.

Yes, there are many reasons to stop this war as soon as possible, but if we miss the window of opportunity for planting in Ukraine the humanitarian crisis will not be limited to Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odessa and Mariupol.

The people in Ukraine are not only fighting for their freedom, but also for world food security and with that for the stability of the entire world. We cannot wait for a diplomatic solution to the war, we need to make tough decisions and we need to make them now. Or else we will have no chance to avoid the catastrophe that is coming at us, slowly but steadily.


This is the message I have tried to get across over the past week.

This is what I kept on repeating to media from all over the world, to Bloomberg, Reuters, Financial Times, BBC radio, Agrarheute, Telegraaf and many others.

I spoke to journalists in New Zealand, Finland, Germany, Brazil, Belgium and of course also in the Netherlands in Nieuwsuur and Jinek.

My message has been listened to and picked up by politicians.

I met with the Dutch ministers of agriculture and foreign affairs, with members of the Dutch parliament.

I spoke in Dusseldorf to the members of the North Rhein-Westphalia parliament.

And today I spoke with Mr Timmermans, First Vice President of the European Commission. Who assured me that he is very well aware of the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and shares my analysis concerning the consequences for World Food Security in the very, very near future, especially in Northern Africa and the Middle East.

We need to realize that even though the EU and NATO have not been attacked physically by Putin and his weapons, we are under attack.


In trying to avoid WW3, we are blind to the fact that we are already in the middle of WW3.

And the only way to avoid global catastrophe is to end this war now.

Tough times demand brave decisions.