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Arab countries investing $92 billion to assure food securityArab countries are investing $92 billion to develop their own sources, said director general professor Ibrahim Ahmed El Dukheri from the Arab Organisation for Agricultural Development.
Currently, the region spends $35 billion annually on importing produce. This is due to a lack of homegrown crops and fertile land for grazing. Climate change and regional unrest are also disrupting local food production, the lack of which was described as a potential security threat.
However, the massive food deficit in the Arab region could be slashed by more than 60% by 2030. “One parameter of concern when it comes to food security in the region is actually the volume of food products imported, which amounts to approximately $35 billion,” says El Dukheri. “That in a sense is a huge burden on food security and we even list it along with the national security of the Arab region.”
“This programme has a portfolio of $92 billion investment in the Arab region to contribute significantly to reducing of the import bill. So far everything is on track, but we need to enhance this as 2030 is not very far off and by the end of that time we expect imports in the Arab region to be reduced by more than 60%. That will then ensure food security in the Arab region.”
However, according to zawya.com, prof El Dukheri described climate change as “the major challenge” to agricultural production in the region.
Publication date: 2/28/2018
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