Agriculture and Food Security in OIC Member Countries 2020
Date: 07 December 2020

The Agriculture and Food Security in OIC Member Countries 2020 report presents the recent state as well as the constraints and challenges of the agriculture sector and food security in OIC member countries through the analysis of a wide range of latest available statistics. This report is prepared during the COVID-19 pandemic, therefore a special chapter is provided to highlight the impacts of the pandemic on agriculture and food security in OIC member countries.

The report stresses out that agriculture remains one of the most important sectors in many OIC countries as a major source of livelihood and employment for millions of people. Latest statistics pointed out that, in 2018, the share of agriculture in the total GDP exceeded 20% in 18 OIC countries. Even in seven OIC countries located in Africa, this share exceeded 30%. Meanwhile, the share of employment in the agriculture sector stood more than 20% in 36 OIC member countries. This share even exceeded 50% in 12 OIC members located in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The report also shows that OIC countries are relatively abundant with agricultural resources (e.g. water, arable land, and human resources) and account for a significant share of global agricultural production and trade. The latest statistics indicate that since 2010, the gross agricultural production index in OIC recorded a much better performance when compared to the developed countries and world average. Half of the OIC member countries were also ranked among the top 20 producers of major agricultural commodities worldwide. Furthermore, in terms of trade, OIC countries have witnessed an impressive increase of 30% in the total volume of agriculture trade throughout 2010-2018.

Despite considerable progress, the report highlights that agricultural productivity in OIC member countries remained insufficient to feed the growing population. The average per capita gross agricultural production growth index for the OIC group remained stagnant during the period 2010-2016. Many OIC member countries still heavily rely on food imports to meet their local demand. This state of affairs has serious socio-economic repercussions particularly for the 28 OIC Low-Income Food Deficit Countries (LIFDCs) which are vulnerable to any sharp rise in the international food prices, trade restrictions and consequently, worsening of the already deteriorated state of food security through increasing the number of undernourished population. The number of undernourished people in the OIC region stands at around 176 million, corresponding to 10.5% of the OIC total population. Besides, multiple threats to food security are currently existing in many OIC member countries such as internal conflicts, pest/locust outbreaks, extreme weather, displace population and last but not least COVID-19 outbreak.

The report also emphasizes agriculture development challenges and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on agriculture and food security. Issues such as inefficient agricultural resource management, lack of infrastructure, micronutrient deficiency, and climate change impacts need to be dealt with to transform them into opportunities. Furthermore, a special section on the COVID-19 pandemic examines the degree of the pandemic impacts on the agri-food sector, its channel of exposure, and finally comes up with policy suggestions to deal with the shock.

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