Despite the fact that the Middle East is blessed with a geological heritage rich in hydrocarbons and mineral resources, it is a water-scarce and arid region that has demographic and socio-economic problems. It is difficult to grow food crops in the Middle East due to scarcity of water supply and limited availability of arable land. The region is particularly vulnerable to fluctuations in international commodity markets due to its high dependence on imported grains and foodstuffs.
According to a report released in 2021 by the World Bank, the Food and Agriculture slot365 deposit gopay Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development, “Arab countries are the world’s largest importers of cereals. Most import at least 50% of the food calories they consume.”
Countries like Egypt, Syria, Lebanon , or Iraq used to be food barns in the past, but their agricultural sectors have suffered a lot from government mismanagement, price ceilings and underinvestment. In fact, all Arab countries are grain importers, with smaller GCC countries such as Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, Kuwait and Oman almost completely dependent on grain imports.
Middle East Food Security Threats
Middle Eastern countries are facing price spikes on world food markets. This is due to competition for the same food products (wheat, corn, soy, animal protein, etc.) from other regions of the world, especially Asia, where incomes are rising and demand for more and better calories is exploding. In addition to threatening the well-being of those already living with few resources, rising prices have increased the number of millions of people stricken with slot depo gopay poverty in less affluent Middle Eastern countries.
To exacerbate food supply problems, world markets have suffered severe disruptions in recent years from distant storms, floods and droughts — from Russia to Argentina to Australia. This natural phenomenon has disrupted the global market mechanism that underlies international food trade. Prices of basic foodstuffs are already at socially dangerous levels, approaching or exceeding their 2010 peak
Of all the Middle Eastern countries facing a food crisis today, Yemen is in the worst condition. The United Nations World Food Program report states that seven million of Yemen’s 21 million people are “very hungry”, making Yemen the 11th most insecure food country in the world.
Aquifers are pumped far beyond the rate of replenishment, and deeper fossil aquifers are also rapidly depleted. As a result, water levels are falling across Yemen by about 2 meters per year. With the water table falling, grain harvests have shrunk by a third over the past 40 years, while demand continues to rise. As a result, Yemen now imports more than 80 percent of their wheat.
In Saudi Arabia there is very little agriculture without irrigation, which relies almost entirely on fossil aquifers. The unsalted seawater used by Saudi Arabia to meet the growing demand for water in cities – cities is too expensive for irrigation use. Saudi Arabia’s growing food insecurity has led it to buy or lease arable land in a variety of countries, including the world’s hungriest countries Ethiopia and Sudan. In fact, the Saudis plan to produce food for themselves with resources land and water from other countries to meet the growing food demands of its rapidly growing population.
Unfortunately, the shift of agricultural land from subsistence agriculture to export crops has led to more food shortages. By trying to ensure their own food security by acquiring foreign agricultural ownership, rich countries are creating new food shortages in other parts of the world.
increasing pressure on water resources
Due to the reduced flow of the Euphrates and Tigris, the wheat harvests of Iraq and Syria have been hit hard. Given the uncertainty of the future supply of river water, farmers in both countries are drilling and pumping more wells for irrigation. Syria’s grain yields have fallen by a fifth since peaking at around 7 million tonnes in 2001. In Iraq, grain yields have fallen by a quarter since peaking at 4.5 million tonnes in 2002. Jordan, with 6 million people, skates over agricultural thin ice. Forty years ago, it produced slot deposit gopay more than 300,000 tons of grain per year. Currently its production is only 60,000 tons and thus has to import more than 90 percent of its grain.
With rapid population growth and increasing pressure on water resources , governments must act urgently to prevent a looming food crisis. A recent World Bank report found major inefficiencies in many Arab ports and the way Arab countries store wheat compared to other large wheat importers, such as the Netherlands and South Korea. Port facilities, slow customs services, and inefficient transportation from ports to factories have all contributed to the worsening food situation. Countries – Arab countries will be big food importers no matter what; therefore they must improve their port and storage facilities and manage import risks.