Arab States ‘Must Invest In Central Asian Farmland’

Via The National, an article on the need for further investment in Central Asian farmland.  As the report notes:

Arab states should invest in Central Asian farmland to help to secure their future food supplies, a senior Arab League official said today.

Dr Mohammed Al Twaijri said Central Asia could be a better option than current investments in countries such as Sudan and Egypt, which may become unreliable because of political instability and complex trade laws.

“We should diversify our sources of food and turn towards Asian Islamic countries to invest in their farmland,” said Dr Al Twaijri, the league’s assistant secretary-general for economic affairs. He was speaking on the sidelines of the second Arab Food Industries Forum, which began today in Abu Dhabi.

“The problem [in some Arab countries] is political obstacles and the lack of appropriate laws,” Dr Al Twaijri said.

“If you look at the official index of countries that attract investment, you’ll find that agricultural Arab countries are at the bottom of that list. They need clear, simple and effective regulations.”

Although the situation had improved in Jordan and Morocco, he said Arab food-importing countries should shift their attention to countries such as Kurdistan and Kazakhstan.

“We should buy land there to produce wheat and any kind of staple food to secure our food resources in the future,” Dr Al Twaijri said.

The UAE imports almost 90 per cent of its food at a cost of about Dh11 billion a year, and the Ministry of Foreign Trade has warned that could rise by Dh30bn by 2020.

“Arab states are the weakest in terms of food security because they are all large importers of food,” said Dr Hayssam Jaffan, the president of the Arab Federation for Food Industries.

“It is one of the most sensitive areas for food security due to its limited supply of water and land.”

Basic food imports in Arab countries were estimated at Dh147bn last year.

And while the population is increasing by 2.2 per cent a year, food production is slowing down.

“Should the current production rates continue this way, we could reach Dh220bn in imports by 2020 and Dh330bn by 2030,” said Dr Jaffan.

This entry was posted on Thursday, May 10th, 2012 at 5:14 pm and is filed under Uncategorized.  You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.  You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. 

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

About This Blog And Its Author
Seeds Of A Revolution is committed to defining the disruptive geopolitics of the global Farms Race.  Due to the convergence of a growing world population, increased water scarcity, and a decrease in arable land & nutrient-rich soil, a spike of international investment interest in agricultural is inevitable and apt to bring a heretofore domestic industry into a truly global realm.  Whether this transition involves global land leases or acquisitions, the fundamental need for food & the protectionist feelings this need can give rise to is highly likely to cause such transactions to move quickly into the geopolitical realm.  It is this disruptive change, and the potential for a global farms race, that Seeds Of A Revolution tracks, analyzes, and forecasts.

Educated at Yale University (Bachelor of Arts - History) and Harvard (Master in Public Policy - International Development), Monty Simus has long held a keen interest in natural resource policy and the geopolitical implications of anticipated stresses in the areas of freshwater scarcity, biodiversity reserves & parks, and farm land.  Monty has lived, worked, and traveled in more than forty countries spanning Africa, China, western Europe, the Middle East, South America, and Southeast & Central Asia, and his personal interests comprise economic development, policy, investment, technology, natural resources, and the environment, with a particular focus on globalization’s impact upon these subject areas.  Monty writes about freshwater scarcity issues at and frontier investment markets at