Green agricultural value chains for improved livelihood in the Arab region
by: Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA)
This report aims at informing and supporting the development of a competitive agriculture and food sector in the Arab region, through a review and analysis of agricultural and food value chains. It also explores available options for their development and greening. There is indeed an urgent need to support the development of an effective agriculture and food sector in the region, particularly in the aftermath of the food price crisis of 2007- 2008 and the food supply disruption which ensued. Available data and information show that regional trade is substantial among countries of West Asia, while countries of North Africa, tend to trade more with their European counterparts. In addition, value chains in the region are generally made up of small and scattered operators, which renders the countries unable to build sufficient economies of scale to become active market participants.
However, in recent years, a few firms have started to emerge and, with appropriate support, could serve as the backbone for striving national and regional food value chains. If the development of food value chains is coupled with the adoption of green processes, the impact on rural livelihoods would be tremendous. Appropriate short- and long-term policies for value chain development and greening that build on existing national and regional frameworks would be highly beneficial.