Poor logistics blamed for higher MENA food costs
Poor logistics and inadequate stockpiling are some of the drivers helping to exacerbate the domestic cost of food in the MENA region, according to senior World Bank economist, Elena Lanchovichina.
According to Qatar news website, Gulf times, Lanchovichina said: “Domestic factors such as inflexible procurement methods, poor logistics, inadequate stockpiling practices and insufficient use of financial instruments and planning techniques have played a major role in explaining domestic food inflation in nearly all MENA countries.”
Whilst rising costs are putting the squeeze on many MENA countries, the outlook for some is worse than others.
“With substantial and sustained increases in international prices of a broad range of foods, coupled with a fast-growing domestic food demand, some MENA countries are facing growing fiscal and inflationary pressures,” she added.
A 2009 report by Dr. Gamal Siam, called: Food Supply Crisis and the Role of Agriculture in the Middle East Region, suggests how important agricultural production is for food security, especially the poorer countries within the region.
According to the report, agriculture is a source of livelihoods for an estimated 70% of rural people. It provides jobs for a large number of small holders and landless workers, and acts as a foundation for viable rural communities.
These countries are exposed to international risks and for them increasing and stabilizing domestic production is essential for food security, the report comments.