8 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
You’re reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
I was reading an article stating that the massive impact that COVID-19 has made on the global food system requires a close review- indeed, it is highly probable that we will soon face some fundamental problems, which we will not be able to ignore anymore.
Bloomberg reports the following: “France expects some 200,000 workers will fail to show up this year. Coldiretti, an association of Italian farmers, estimates the country will be short as many as 100,000 foreign laborers. Germany typically has 30,000 migrant farm workers in March and 80,000 by May, but this year, only a fraction of that number have shown up, according to Agriculture Minister Julia Kloeckner.”
The Agricultural Outlook 2018-2027 published by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations states that of the total land area of the MENA region, only one-third is agricultural land (cropland and pastures), while only 5% is arable (cropland). The rest of the land is either urban or dry desert. Due to the dry climate, about 40% of cropped area in the region requires irrigation. Only 4% of land in the region has soils judged of high or good suitability for rain-fed cereal cultivation and 55% is unsuitable. This means a strong dependency on import, not just from Europe but from other main export countries like India, for example,