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AGRISPRING – Agriculture in North Africa after the Arab Spring

Research domain:
Policies and institutions

Project duration:
01.01.2018 - 31.03.2021

Agricultural production in North Africa is mainly challenged by the decreasing availability of fertile soils and water of sufficient quality resulting from agricultural activities themselves. In addition, this region is already particularly affected by climate change with an increase of the temperature by 4 degrees, further limiting the availability of the already scarce water resources. Today about 61 percent of the population exposed to water scarcity. This is particularly problematic since North Africa, with its population of 240 million, is highly food import dependent and population growth is expected to remain high in the future. Recent post Arab Spring macroeconomic and structural reform programs have worsened economic conditions for profitable agricultural production further decreasing incentives for domestic agricultural production. In addition, due to the currency devaluation by e.g. 150 percent in Egypt and about 100 percent in Sudan, prices of imported and domestic foods have strongly increased, while food subsidies for end consumers have been started to be removed in Egypt, Sudan, Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. At the same time, economic activity has shrunk, and in the aftermath of the Arab Spring more than one-quarter of the population has become poor. With 76 percent of the poor people living in rural areas, poverty is particularly widespread among smallholder farmers. Rural to urban and international migration have strongly increased with migration from North Africa to Europe amounting to 5.2 million persons, mostly youngsters, in 2017.

Partners

  • The Center for Agro-Food Economics and Development (CREDA), Spain Website
  • International Water Management Institute (IWMI), Egypt Website
  • Cairo University (CU), Egypt Website
  • National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA), Morocco Website
  • National Agricultural Research Institute of Tunisia (INRAT), Tunisia Website

Publications

Ahmed, Osama; Abdelradi, Fadi (2019) Understanding the dependence structure between the futures and spot prices of wheat in Egypt. International Journal of Food and Beverage Manufacturing and Business Models 4 (1): 20-37.

Ahmed, Osama (2018) Vertical price transmission in the Egyptian tomato sector after the Arab Spring. Applied Economics 50 (47): 5092-5107.