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OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2018-2027

image of OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2018-2027

The fourteenth joint edition of the OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook provides market projections for major agricultural commodities, biofuels and fish, as well as a special feature on the prospects and challenges of agriculture and fisheries in the Middle East and North Africa.

World agricultural markets have changed markedly since the food price spikes of 2007-8, as production has grown strongly while demand growth has started to weaken. In the coming decade, real agricultural prices are expected to remain low as a result of reduced growth in global food and feed demand. Net exports will tend to increase from land abundant countries and regions, notably in the Americas. Countries with limited natural resources, slow production expansion and high population growth will see rising net imports. Increasing import dependence is projected in particular for the Middle East and North Africa, where a scarcity of arable land and water constrains agricultural production.

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The Middle East and North Africa: Prospects and challenges

This chapter reviews the prospects and challenges facing the agricultural sector in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. A dominant concern in the MENA region is its high and growing dependence on international markets for key staple food products, as arable land and water grows scarcer. Policies in the region support grain production and consumption, with the result that 65% of cropland is planted with water-thirsty cereals, in particular wheat which accounts for a large share of calorie intake. The outlook for the MENA region projects slow growth in food consumption, gradual changes in diet to include higher livestock consumption, continued water use at unsustainable rates, and continued and increasing reliance on world markets. An alternative approach to food security would reorient policies towards rural development, poverty reduction, and support for production of higher-value horticulture products. Such a change would contribute to more diversified and healthier diets, but would require building the capacity of farmers to minimise risk while raising higher value crops

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