Agriculture and Food Security in OIC Member Countries 2023
Date: 02 October 2023

The 2023 edition of the report on “Agriculture and Food Security in OIC Member Countries” was launched by SESRIC during the Ninth Session of the Ministerial Conference on Food Security and Agriculture Development, which was held on 1-2 October 2023 in Doha, Qatar. The report, published under the theme of “Enhancing Resilience of Agricultural and Food Systems”, aims to provide a comprehensive analysis of the current state of agriculture and food security in OIC countries, with a specific focus on enhancing the resilience of agricultural and food systems. This report critically examines the current challenges faced by OIC member countries in agricultural development and food security, particularly in the post-COVID-19 era.

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 2021, the share of agriculture in the total GDP exceeded 25% in 11 OIC countries. The contribution of agriculture to the GDP in OIC member countries and other regions has experienced a decline due to various factors. One significant factor is the process of structural transformation, where economies transition from being predominantly agrarian to becoming more focused on industry and services. It is important to highlight that despite this overall decline, certain OIC countries have made noteworthy advancements in their agricultural sectors over the past two decades. Besides, even the proportion of employment in the agriculture sector has decreased in the OIC countries and globally, a significant portion of land in OIC countries is still dedicated to agriculture, with some countries exceeding 70% agricultural land in 2020.

OIC countries have experienced growth in their international trade capacities in food and agricultural products. However, continue to be a net-importer region with imports exceeding exports. The value of exports increased from $141.7 billion in 2011 to $188.1 billion in 2021, and imports grew from $218.6 billion in 2011 to $292.9 billion in 2021. Intra-OIC trade in agriculture has also shown positive growth, with the value of intra-OIC agricultural trade increasing by about 85% from 2011 to 2021. There are disparities among OIC countries in terms of international trade in food and agricultural products, with some countries having trade surpluses while the majority record deficits. These disparities present an opportunity to enhance intra-OIC trade and promote cooperation among member countries.

The challenges associated with the eradication of hunger and food insecurity also persist. This state of affairs has serious socio-economic repercussions as 26 OIC member countries who were identified as Low-Income Food Deficit Countries (LIFDCs) and 22 OIC countries were classified as requiring external food assistance by FAO. Conflicts in various OIC member countries result in their performing disproportionately in some critical food security-related areas as opposed to others. Consequently, malnutrition becomes a significant issue in many OIC countries particularly affecting children under the age of five causing stunting, wasting, and obesity.

The report also emphasizes agriculture development challenges 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 improving resilience of agricultural and food systems highlights the importance of enhancing governance, improving access to finance, investing in research & data collection, and capacity development, and finally comes up with policy suggestions to deal with the global crises.

Online Electronic Version