Turning sandy-deserts green

Regional Views
MENA Agriculture

The Global Food 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. This week, 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.


Florence Eid-Oakden, Ph.D, Chief Economist

Ghalia Al Bajali, Rama Hojeij, Analysts

The Regional Views series are thematic papers aimed at identifying and analysing factors behind medium to long-term economic trends shaping the region. Our analysis draws conclusions that help businesses and investors get ahead of the curve. As a firm staffed by Middle Easterners, we focus on insight rather than standard analysis.

To access this report, please click here.