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Addressing agricultural import dependance in the middle east - Nord-Africa region through the year 2050

Abstract : The Middle East – North Africa region (MENA) is characterized by a particularly high level of dependence on agricultural imports: 40% of its needs for agricultural products are currently being met by imports, while its dependence on cereal imports is among the highest in the world. Over the course of the past several decades, a combination of demographic growth and changes in dietary habits has led to a marked increase in food requirements. Although agricultural production in the region has increased substantially over the same period, it has been unable to keep pace with the increase in demand, partly because of limitations in terms of soil and climate and partly because of limitations in terms of agricultural policy. Regional dependence on agricultural imports is likely to continue to escalate in the foreseeable future, both as a result of ongoing demographic expansion and changes in eating habits and as a result of climate change impacts in a region already recognized as a climate “hot spot.” As a global region, the MENA region is both geopolitically complex and highly strategic. Agricultural imports place a significant burden on state budgets, and agri-food policies in the region continue to struggle with urban and rural poverty. In this situation, it is important to understand which factors within the regional agri-food system are most likely to contribute to – or, on the contrary, might help mitigate – a continued increase in agricultural import dependence. It is for these reasons that Pluriagri has commissioned, and INRA has undertaken, the study summarised here. The project began by examining historic trends (from 1961 to 2011) with regard to the resource-use balance of the regional agri-food system. Next, it analysed several potential future scenarios for the region through the year 2050. To construct the scenarios, the study made use of simulation tools that take into account the anticipated effects of climate change as well as such factors as technical innovation, improved use of irrigation, contrasting patterns in eating habits, and differential changes in demographic and economic development. These simulations suggest that dependence on agricultural imports is likely to continue to increase in the region, especially if the effects of climate change are pronounced. Taken individually, none of the three mechanisms proposed for reducing agricultural import dependence (improved agricultural productivity, moderation of dietary habits, or a reduction in food waste) is capable of correcting this trend in the Maghreb, the Middle East, or the Near East. Such mechanisms may be effective in Egypt, however, and have the potential to strengthen Turkey’s role as a net agricultural exporter.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-02801144
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Submitted on : Friday, June 5, 2020 - 8:27:02 PM
Last modification on : Monday, November 15, 2021 - 4:31:25 PM

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Chantal Le Mouël, Agneta Forslund, Pauline Marty, Stéphane Manceron, Elodie Marajo-Petitzon, et al.. Addressing agricultural import dependance in the middle east - Nord-Africa region through the year 2050. [Other] INRA. 2015, 8 p. ⟨hal-02801144⟩

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