Turning sandy-deserts green

New Regional Views

Turning sandy-deserts green 

As the world continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and awaits vaccines, we shift our focus this week to analyse the agriculture sector in the MENA.

The Global Network Against Food Crisis, an alliance of UN and partner agencies, forecasts that COVID-19 may lead to over 265 million people suffering from a food crisis. While we do not expect such insecurity to hit the MENA region this year, the high dependence on food imports due to the region’s environmental challenges and fast-growing population, along with decades of conflict and negligence, suggests the region may be vulnerable to a food crisis in the long-term.

We analyse the region’s large food import bill, and discuss alternative options that can be accelerated by governments. Using Qatar as a case study, which has been pushed by the boycott to self-sustain its agriculture sector, we find the use of agriculture technology or agritech is critical for the region. In recent years, we have seen certain GCC states and Egypt increasing their use of advanced technologies in farming. We expect further efforts to be directed to this new sector, with others in the region joining the space. It is needed now more than ever, given the region’s vulnerability to external shocks and the pandemic. 

Request a copy

14-Day Free Trial

The information on this page may have been provided by a contributor to ChinaGoAbroad, and ChinaGoAbroad makes no guarantees about the accuracy of any content. All content shall be used for informational purposes only. Contributors must obtain all necessary licenses and/or ownership rights from the relevant content owner(s) before submitting such content (including texts, pictures, photos and diagrams) to ChinaGoAbroad for publication. ChinaGoAbroad disclaims all liability arising from the publication of any content/information (such as texts, pictures, photos and diagrams that infringe on any copyright) received from contributors. Links may direct to third party sites out of the control of ChinaGoAbroad, and such links shall not be considered an endorsement by ChinaGoAbroad of any information contained on such third party sites. Please refer to our Disclaimer for more details.