Advertisement

Food Security

, Volume 7, Issue 6, pp 1101–1111 | Cite as

Food trade relations of the Middle East and North Africa with tropical countries

  • Eckart Woertz
  • Martin Keulertz
Original Paper

Abstract

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is the world’s largest importer of food, especially of cereals, sugar and poultry. Tropical regions have gained growing importance as suppliers of such commodities in recent decades. Latin America and Africa in particular have been identified as sources of future agricultural growth that could provide exportable surpluses to the MENA and other food import dependent regions, such as East Asia. Foreign investors, host governments, local communities and international organizations are crucial actors in these agricultural expansion processes, which do, however, entail ecological and socio-economic risks. The article provides a historical perspective of tropical agriculture and the MENA in various food regimes since the 19th century. It then outlines the importance of tropical agriculture and the MENA in global food trade flows and analyzes to what extent the MENA relies on countries with tropical agriculture in its food trade. Finally, it takes a look at agricultural investment flows from the MENA to the tropics. Associated political and socio-economic issues are analyzed, reasons for a marked implementation gap are identified and finally how such investments might relate to MENA food security strategies is discussed.

Keywords

Food trade Middle East and North Africa Food regimes Tropical agriculture Land acquisitions 

Notes

Acknowledgement

A Marie Curie grant of the European Commission and the OCP Policy Center supported research for this article.

References

  1. Ahmad, S. A. B. (2006). Al-ʿAlaqat al-ʿArabiyya al-Ifriqiyya baina al-Madi wa-l-Hadir : Dirasa Mutaʿaddidat al-Abʿad. [Arab-African Relations between the Past and Present. Multilevel Study] (1ed.). Cairo: Dar al-Nahda al-ʿArabiyya.Google Scholar
  2. Allan, T., Warner, J., Sojamo, S., & Keulertz, M. (Eds.). (2013). Handbook of Land and Water Grabs in Africa: Foreign Direct Investments and Food and Water Security. London. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  3. Andræ, G., & Beckman, B. (1985). The wheat trap: bread and underdevelopment in Nigeria (Third World books). London: Zed Books in association with Scandinavian Institute of African Studies.Google Scholar
  4. Arab News. (2014, 11 March). Almarai acquires huge farmland in Arizona. Arab News.Google Scholar
  5. Arsenault, C. (2015). Mali’s Land Deal With the Devil. Letter from Markala. Foreign Affairs, May 12.Google Scholar
  6. Baseera (2015). Number of the Day, Issue 573, 3 February 2015. http://us7.campaign-archive2.com/?u=e3879fcf174ee44780b41d0c0&id=eb239d10f5&e=b406e6716b. Accessed 23 February 2015.
  7. Borras, S. M., Kay, C., & Lahiff, E. (Eds.). (2007). Market-led Agrarian Reform. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  8. Braudel, F. (2000). The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II (Translation of the second revised edition (1966th ed.). London: The Folio Society.Google Scholar
  9. Brautigam, D. (2012). “Zombie” Chinese land grabs in Africa rise again in new database! http://www.chinaafricarealstory.com/2012/04/zombie-chinese-land-grabs-in-africa.html. Accessed April 30 2012.
  10. Breisinger, C., Ecker, O., Al-Riffai, P., & Yu, B. (2012). Beyond the Arab Awakening. Policies and Investments for Poverty Reduction and Food Security. Food Policy Report. Washington: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).Google Scholar
  11. Burch, D., & Lawrence, G. (2009). Towards a third food regime: behind the transformation. Agriculture and Human Values, 26(4), 267–279. doi: 10.1007/s10460-009-9219-4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Calvary, R. (2014). Les investissements saoudiens dans la Corne de l’Afrique: l’exemple de Mohamed Al Amoudi, homme d’affaires saoudien en Ethiopie. Confluences Méditerranée, 90(3), 61–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cammett, M., Diwan, I., Richards, A., & Waterbury, J. (2015). A Political Economy of the Middle East (4th ed.). Boulder: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  14. Collier, P. (2008). The politics of hunger: how illusion and greed fan the food crisis. Foreign Affairs, 87(6), 67–79.Google Scholar
  15. Collier, P., & Dercon, S. (2009). African Agriculture in 50 Years: Smallholders in a rapidly changing world? Rome: Paper presented at the FAO Expert Meeting on How to Feed the World in 2050.Google Scholar
  16. Coulibaly, L. (2014, 9 October). Ivory Coast on quest to become West Africa’s rice bowl. Reuters.Google Scholar
  17. Davis, M. (2001). Late Victorian holocausts : El Niño famines and the making of the third world. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  18. Deininger, K., Byerlee, D., Lindsay, J., Norton, A., Selod, H., & Stickler, M. (2011). Rising Global Interest in Farmland. Can It Yield Sustainable and Equitable Benefits? Agriculture and Rural Development. Washington: World Bank.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Dixon, M. (2014). The land grab, finance capital, and food regime restructuring: the case of Egypt. Review of African Political Economy, 41(140), 232–248. doi: 10.1080/03056244.2013.831342.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Edelman, M. (2013). Messy hectares: questions about the epistemology of land grabbing data. The Journal of Peasant Studies, 40(3), 485–501. doi: 10.1080/03066150.2013.801340.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Empinotti, V. (2015). Beyond the dualities: a nuanced understanding of Brazilian soybean producers. Food Security, 7(6).Google Scholar
  22. Erdkamp, P. (2005). The grain market in the Roman Empire : a social, political and economic study. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. FAO (2014a). FAO Cereal Supply and Demand Brief. http://www.fao.org/worldfoodsituation/csdb/en/. Accessed 16 January 2015.
  24. FAO. (2014b). FAO Statistical Yearbook 2014. Near East and North Africa, food and agriculture. Rome: FAO.Google Scholar
  25. FAO. (2014c). Food and Nutrition in Numbers. Rome: FAO.Google Scholar
  26. FAO (2015). FAO Food Security Indicators. http://www.fao.org/economic/ess/ess-fs/ess-fadata/en/ - .VZPTSaYyIxU. Accessed 1 July 2015.
  27. FAOSTAT (2011). Food Security Data and Definitions. http://www.fao.org/economic/ess/ess-fs/fs-data/ess-fadata/en/ Accessed 19 August 2011.
  28. Fargues, P. (2012). Demography, Migration, and Revolt in the Southern Mediterranean. In C. Merlini & O. Roy (Eds.), Arab Society in Revolt: The West’s Mediterranean Challenge (pp. 17–46). Washington: Brookings Institution.Google Scholar
  29. Fitzherbert, E. B., Struebig, M. J., Morel, A., Danielsen, F., Brühl, C. A., Donald, P. F., et al. (2008). How will oil palm expansion affect biodiversity? Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 23(10), 538–545. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2008.06.012.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Friedmann, H., & McMichael, P. (1989). Agriculture and the State System. The Rise and Decline of National Agricultures, 1870 to the Present. Sociologia Ruralis, XXIX(2), 93–117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. GRAIN (2013). Food Crisis and the Global Land Grab. [Collection of global media reports]. http://www.farmlandgrab.org. Accessed 10 December 2013.
  32. Haroutunian, M. (2011, 21 December). Almarai Acquires Argentina’s Fondomonte for $83 Million. Bloomberg.Google Scholar
  33. Harrigan, J. (2014). The Political Economy of Arab Food Sovereignty. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. International Trade Center (2014). Trade Map Statistics. http://www.trademap.org. Accessed 2 September 2014.
  35. Kaag, M. M. A., & Zoomers, E. B. (2014). The global land grab: beyond the hype. London: Zed Books.Google Scholar
  36. Kakande, Y. (2013). The Ambitious Struggle. An African Journalist’s Journey to Hope and Identity in a Land of Migrants. Gainesville: Florida Academic Press.Google Scholar
  37. Kamal, O. (2015). Half-baked, the other side of Egypt’s baladi bread subsidy: A study of the market intermediaries and middlemen in the system (Collección Monografías). Barcelona: CIDOBGoogle Scholar
  38. Keeler, D. (2014, 10 December). Africa ‘must rethink approach to agriculture investment’. Wall Street Journal.Google Scholar
  39. Keulertz, M. (2013). Drivers and impacts of farmland investment in Sudan: water and the range of choice in Jordan and Qatar. London: King’s College London.Google Scholar
  40. Keulertz, M., & Woertz, E. (2015). States as Actors in International Agro-Investments. International Development Policy, 6(1).Google Scholar
  41. Koh, L. P., & Wilcove, D. S. (2008). Is oil palm agriculture really destroying tropical biodiversity? Conservation Letters, 1(2), 60–64. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-263X.2008.00011.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Le Vine, V. T., & Luke, T. W. (1979). The Arab-African connection: political and economic realities (Westview special studies on Africa/the Middle East). Colo: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  43. López, R. C., García-Álvarez-Coque, J.-M., & Azcárate, T. G. (2013). EU-Mediterranean Relations in the Field of Agriculture: The example of Morocco and Turkey. Policy Paper (Vol. 91). Paris: Notre Europe-Jaques Delors Institute.Google Scholar
  44. McMichael, P. (2009a). A food regime analysis of the ‘world food crisis. Agriculture and Human Values, 26(4), 281–295. doi: 10.1007/s10460-009-9218-5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. McMichael, P. (2009b). A food regime genealogy. Journal of Peasant Studies, 36(1), 139–169. doi: 10.1080/03066150902820354.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Morgan, D. (1979). Merchants of grain. New York: Viking Press.Google Scholar
  47. Nouheihed, L. (2014, 12 October). Egypt’s Qalaa Holding expects return to profit by first quarter 2016. Reuters.Google Scholar
  48. Oakland Institute. (2009). Voices From Africa: African Farmers & Environmentalists Speak Out Against a New Green Revolution in Africa. Oakland: Oakland Inistitute.Google Scholar
  49. Oded, A. (1987). Africa and the Middle East conflict. Boulder: Colo.: L. Rienner.Google Scholar
  50. Oya, C. (2013). Methodological reflections on ‘land grab’ databases and the ‘land grab’ literature ‘rush. The Journal of Peasant Studies, 40(3), 503–520. doi: 10.1080/03066150.2013.799465.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Paarlberg, R. L. (2008). Starved for science: how biotechnology is being kept out of Africa. Cambridge: Mass.: Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Paarlberg, R. L. (2010). Food politics : what everyone needs to know. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  53. Pritchard, B. (2009). The long hangover from the second food regime: a world-historical interpretation of the collapse of the WTO Doha Round. Agriculture and Human Values, 26(4), 297–307. doi: 10.1007/s10460-009-9216-7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Revelli, P. (2012, 12 October). Wie der Zucker nach Luzon kam. Le Monde Diplomatique.Google Scholar
  55. Rulli, M. C., Saviori, A., & D’Odorico, P. (2013). Global land and water grabbing. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110(3), 892–897. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1213163110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Rural Modernity (2012). The Land Matrix: Much ado about nothing. http://ruralmodernity.wordpress.com/2012/04/27/the-land-matrix-much-ado-about-nothing/. Accessed 27 April 2012.
  57. Salerno, T. (2010). Land Deals, Joint Investments and Peasants in Mindanao, Philippines. MA Thesis, Institute of Social Studies, The Hague.Google Scholar
  58. Scoones, I., Hall, R., Borras, S. M., White, B., & Wolford, W. (2013). The politics of evidence: methodologies for understanding the global land rush. The Journal of Peasant Studies, 40(3), 469–483. doi: 10.1080/03066150.2013.801341.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Serels, S. (2012). Famines of War: The Red Sea Grain Market and Famine in Eastern Sudan, 1889–1891. Northeast African Studies, 12(1), 73–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Smith, L. (2013, 9 December). Middle East company adds spice to Australian grain. ABC.Google Scholar
  61. The German Marshal Fund of the United States, & OCP Policy Center. (2014). Atlantic Currents. An Annual Report on Wider Atlantic Perspectives and Patterns. Washington: Rabat.Google Scholar
  62. The Reporter. (2013, 23 November). Saudi Star Rice project Feels the Pinch. The Reporter.Google Scholar
  63. Timmer, P. (2013). Food Security in Asia and the Pacific: The Rapidly Changing Role of Rice. Asia & the Pacific Policy Studies, 1(1), 73–90. doi: 10.1002/app5.6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Trompiz, G. (2014, 25 February). Ivory Coast eyes rice self-sufficiency with foreign firms’ help. Reuters.Google Scholar
  65. UNESCO (1984). Historical and socio-cultural relations between black Africa and the Arab world from 1935 to the present: report and papers of the symposium organized by Unesco in Paris from 25 to 27 July 1979 (The General history of Africa : studies and documents, Vol. 7). Paris: Unesco.Google Scholar
  66. United Nations (2012). World Population Prospects: The 2012 Revision. http://esa.un.org/wpp/unpp/panel_population.htm. Accessed 16 January 2014.
  67. USDA (2014a). Foreign Agricultural Service Database. Production, Supply and Distribution (PSD). http://www.fas.usda.gov/psdonline/psdQuery.aspx. Accessed 23 May 2014.
  68. USDA. (2014b). Turkey: 2014 Food Processig Ingredients Report. Washington: GAIN Report (Vol. TR4053).Google Scholar
  69. Verhoeven, H. (2015). Water, Civilisation and Power in Sudan. The Political Economy of Military-Islamist State-Building. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. von Paczensky, G., & Dünnebier, A. (1999). Kulturgeschichte des Essens und Trinkens. Munich: Orbis.Google Scholar
  71. Wallerstein, I. M. (1974). The modern world-system (Studies in social discontinuity). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  72. Waterbury, J. (1983). The Egypt of Nasser and Sadat : the political economy of two regimes (Princeton studies on the Near East). Princeton: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Weis, T. (2007). The global food economy : the battle for the future of farming. London: New York: Zed Books.Google Scholar
  74. Wicke, B., Sikkema, R., Dornburg, V., & Faaij, A. (2011). Exploring land use changes and the role of palm oil production in Indonesia and Malaysia. Land Use Policy, 28(1), 193–206. doi: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2010.06.001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Williams, T. O. (2015). Reconciling food and water security objectives of MENA and Sub-Saharan Africa: Is there a role for large-scale agricultural investments? Food Security, 7(6).Google Scholar
  76. Woertz, E. (2013a). Oil for Food. The Global Food Crisis and the Middle East. Oxford: New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Woertz, E. (2013b). To be Expected: Faulty Land Matrix Database Goes Academic…. http://oilforfood.info/?p=423. Accessed 23 May 2014.
  78. Woertz, E. (2014a). Historic Food Regimes and The Middle East. In Z. Babar & S. Mirgani (Eds.), Food Security in the Middle East (pp. 19–38). London: Hurst.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Woertz, E. (2014b). A Sheikh, Ethiopia and Pitfalls of Journalism. http://oilforfood.info/?p=652. Accessed 3 January 2015.
  80. Woertz, E. (forthcoming). Agriculture and Development in the Wake of the Arab Spring. International Development Policy.Google Scholar
  81. World Bank. (2010). Arab Development Assistance: Four Decades of Cooperation. Washington D.C.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht and International Society for Plant Pathology 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CIDOB, Barcelona Centre for International AffairsBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Department of Agricultural and Biological EngineeringPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

Personalised recommendations