The Middle East’s Increasing Role in Global Food Security

Synergies and trade-offs between agriculture adaptation and mitigation  identified

The global food system faces a number of stresses and shocks due to the complex interaction of social, economic, political and environmental factors. With the world population forecast to increase to 10 billion by 2050, policymakers are faced with the problem of securing affordable, nutritious and environmentally friendly food for all.

In addition, the emergence of a global middle class, the threat of climate change, disease outbreaks, and protracted conflicts contribute to greater uncertainty and threats to food supplies.

Food insecurity is slot365 deposit gopay complex for the Middle East, with the region facing a number of threats to stability and progress. Conflicts in many countries disrupt agricultural production, adding to the risk of large-scale famine. In addition, the region has low agricultural yields due to limited arable land, water scarcity, and climate-related shocks.

High levels of food imports, unsustainable diets, food loss and waste, economic shocks, the global food crisis, fluctuating oil prices, and the COVID-19 pandemic all contribute to a depressed food system.

A recent report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization highlighted food insecurity in the region. According to 2019 data, more than 51.4 million people are hungry, while 137 million do not have regular access to sufficient and nutritious food. Malnutrition is rampant, with about 22 percent of children under five suffering from stunted growth and 9.2 percent with severe weight loss.

More than half of the region’s population cannot afford healthy food, compared to the global average of 38 percent. Meanwhile, obesity in the Arab region is the second highest in the world, affecting 27 percent of the adult population.

Addressing this daunting threat requires a grassroots overhaul of the global food system, as well as collaboration with international actors to bring about the necessary changes. By directing efforts toward shared global priorities, the Middle East can play an influential role in delivering sustainable, affordable, healthy and inclusive food systems for its people.

Formation of an Alliance to Advance the Middle East’s Food Role

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Local governments should form strategic alliances with other countries, international institutions, research centers, academic institutions, farmer associations, and private companies to provide investment in priority areas. Projects may include conserving global biodiversity, mitigating climate change measures, investing in agricultural technology solutions, and funding research on agricultural productivity. A dedicated food safety minister should be appointed to spearhead the effort.

Key investments to increase local production are critical to the resilience of the region, in addition to supporting slot depo gopay local farmers and cooperatives. Previous crises and pandemics have shown policymakers the importance of partnering with local farmers to formulate resilience plans.

Many countries provide special loans to encourage farmers to adopt innovative agricultural technologies. In 2020, Saudi Arabia spent $665 million to facilitate food imports and help local farmers increase crop production through the use of hydroponics, which uses 90 percent less water than traditional farming methods.

Advances in agricultural technology pave the way to greater productivity. Last year, the Abu Dhabi Investment Office invested $100 million in four agricultural companies building research facilities and production centers in the emirate. Earlier this year, Dubai launched Food Tech Valley, with research facilities, an innovation hub, a smart food logistics hub and space for vertical farming. As a result of these efforts, the UAE now has 1,000 hydroponic farms, up from just 50 in 2009.

At the same time, it is very important for Arab countries to diversify sources of food imports, simplify customs procedures, establish minimum food storage quantities and establish business continuity plans. Improved supply chain, transport and storage efficiency will reduce food loss from agriculture to retail.

solutions in terms of global food policy

Special pricing policies will ensure lower income groups have more reliable choices when it comes to basic and healthy foods. Policymakers should also consider encouraging consumer behavior towards sustainable and healthy eating through nutrition literacy programs, food labeling, and strategies to reduce waste.

Many countries, especially those that rely heavily on food imports, are adopting new approaches to food security. Singapore  which has long been subject to fluctuating prices due to its 90 percent food import rate working to diversify its sources of imports from 170 countries.

In 2019, the Singapore government announced an ambitious plan to produce 30 percent of its nutritional needs locally by 2030. Indoor slot deposit gopay farming technologies, such as hydroponic and vertical farming, are part of a range of innovative solutions. The government is partnering with German vertical farming company ever to set up a fully automated indoor farm that will produce 500 tons of fresh produce annually.

Last month, Singapore launched a dedicated agricultural technology training facility to teach the basics of crop farming, innovative agricultural technology, agricultural operations, artificial intelligence in agricultural operations and farm management.

The global food system contributes to the well-being and economic prosperity of the peoples of the region, so it is imperative to develop ambitious plans to protect their resilience and sustainability.

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