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Building Sustainable Agriculture for Food Security in the Euro-Mediterranean Area: Challenges and Policy Options


Sustainable agriculture and food security are of particular concern for the countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, and represent one of the biggest challenges facing the area. As a consequence of the region's heavy reliance on food imports, the sharp increase in food prices since 2007 and the consequent world food crisis has had severe adverse effects in several countries, causing macro-economic problems (inflation, trade deficits, fiscal pressure), increased poverty and political instability. This challenge, coupled with the consequences of environmental degradation, water scarcity, urbanization and climate stress, call for the urgent development of sustainable agriculture and food systems. In spite of these problems, agriculture has mostly been ignored in Euro-Mediterranean relations, due to strong opposition from the EU. However, academics and policymakers have increasingly acknowledged that agriculture is a key strategic sector for Mediterranean countries that needs to be placed at the core of Euro-Mediterranean regional cooperation. Given the sensitiveness and strategic importance of agriculture for both shores of the Mediterranean, the IAI and the OCP Policy Center jointly organized a two-day conference in Rabat on November 20-21, 2014, to discuss food security and agriculture challenges in the framework of Euro-Mediterranean relations. The present volume collects the updated and revised versions of the twelve papers that were discussed in that meeting.

This volume is the follow-up of the international conference held in Rabat on 20-21 November 2014 and organized within the strategic partnership between the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) and the OCP Policy Center (OCPPC). Presented at the seminar "Linking Food Security to Sustainable Agricultural Policies in the Mediterranean: The Experts' Views", organized on 20 June 2015 in the framework of the Expo Milano 2015.

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