Monday, August 16, 2010

Arab Food Security

"The Gulf countries now depend on four main sources for food production:
  1. The new initiatives in developing countries, where Gulf nations can use their investment abilities more aggressively. Woertz referred to these sources as having the classical colonial agro-export and food import dependencies.
  2. Emerging developing countries, such as Brazil, South Africa, Thailand, Argentina, who cannot afford to subsidize their national agriculture and are therefore at a disadvantage when selling to global markets.
  3. Large suppliers that subsidize food production within their own borders, such as the United States and the European Union.
  4. Production within their own borders." 
(Thanks Sami)

I disagree with the appellation "colonial", which implies a totally different political balance of forces. The West just can't bear that some Arab countries, regardless of how lousy these regimes are. And look at the Saudi response:

"The Saudi government argues that the relationship benefits both parties; if Saudi investors quintuple the food output of these countries, the host country would have more agriculture revenue and food for itself and they could increase exports to Saudi Arabia. The Saudi government compares the venture to the West’s investment in oil."

And look at this:

"International tension might occur, for example, if Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, or the UAE sought to build large agro-projects in Sudan, which shares its water source, the Nile, with Egypt. "

I have said it before and will say it again: this is the Arab Nation and Sudan is part of it, whether the West likes it or not. Arab agricultural investments in other Arab countries are required, this is called Arab integration. The important thing is that they be fair and benefit the poor.

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