In MENA, household food insecurity, which is closely related to poverty and undernourishment, is most severe in rural areas and concentrated within Iraq, Sudan, and Yemen. 25% of the MENA population may be poor and 7% undernourished. The key to increased national and household-level food security is pro-poor growth, driven by export-oriented, labor-intensive sectors. Agricultural sector policies should be subordinate to the pro-poor growth goal and not to the goal of food self-sufficiency. Such a strategy requires conflict resolution; macroeconomic stability; physical and human capital accumulation; reliance on markets and the private sector, and diffusion of ecologically friendly farming practices.
JEL Classification Codes: O13, O53, Q18
Key Words: Middle East and North Africa, food security, poverty, agriculture,
This paper was published under the same title and by the same authors on pp. 1-31 in Lofgren, Hans, ed. (2003) Food, Agriculture, and Economic Policy in the Middle East and North Africa. Research in Middle East Economics, Volume 5. Amsterdam: JAI Press/Elsevier and is issued as a Discussion Paper with permission from Elsevier. The Elsevier home page is at http://www.elsevier.com. For information about the volume, see
http://www.elsevier.com/inca/publications/store/6/6/0/6/6/7/. (Thanks Ramla)
Discussion paper is a bit old but very useful for general trends