Tuesday, May 08, 2012 -
Arab states should invest in Central Asian agriculture to ensure their own food security, a senior Arab League official said on Tuesday.
Central Asia is more attractive for foreign investors than Sudan or Egypt because it is more politically stable, Dr. Mohammed Al Twaijiri said. Kazakhstan is particularly important in this regard, due to its high levels of wheat and grain production.
“We should diversify our sources of food and turn towards Asian Islamic countries to invest in their farmland,” the UAE-based news agency The National reported Dr. Al Twaijiri as saying.
“If you look at the official index of countries that attract investment, you’ll find that agricultural Arab countries are at the bottom of that list,” he said. “They need clear, simple and effective regulations.”
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) imports 90 percent of its food supply, but other Arab states are also in need of substantial imports to meet demand for food.
“Arab states are the weakest in terms of food security because they are all large importers of food,” Arab Federation for Food Industries President Dr. Hayssam Jaffan said.
“It is one of the most sensitive areas for food security due to its limited supply of water and land.”