Agriculture in Europe to decline as Asian output grows: UN, OECD

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Paris | Updated: July 4, 2018 3:32:36 AM

Agricultural production in Western Europe is set to decline over the coming decade, with output in Africa and Asia expected to increase, the OECD and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization said in a report today.

Un,United nations, OECD, The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, agriculture, europe, agriculture europe, agriculture middle east, agriculture africaAgricultural production in Western Europe is set to decline over the coming decade. (Reuters)

Agricultural production in Western Europe is set to decline over the coming decade, with output in Africa and Asia expected to increase, the OECD and the and Agriculture Organization said in a report today.

The unrest-wracked Middle East meanwhile faces a rising threat of food insecurity, the report said, as conflict, climate change and poor policy all have the effect of keeping the region overly reliant on imports.

“Over the coming decade, the expansion of agricultural production will be disproportionately concentrated in the developing world,” the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the FAO said in their joint report.

“Overall, output will expand less in developed economies, notably in Western Europe, where agricultural and fish production is only projected to grow by around 3 percent over the outlook period,” the report added.

In sub-Saharan Africa, crop production is set to expand by 30 per cent, with meat and dairy both set to grow by 25 per cent.

Nonetheless, the region’s food security is set to remain dependent on global markets, because “domestic production capacity will remain insufficient to meet the region’s growing consumption needs”.

South and east Asia — which includes China and India — are the world’s biggest producers of a wide array of agricultural products.

Growth in output will remain high in the region, the report said.

“The coming decade is likely to add new challenges, in particular the need to reconcile high output levels with increasingly stringent standards for sustainable production,” it said.

The Middle East, which is mired in conflict and political unrest, has a “high and growing dependence” on imports for key food products, the report said, leaving the region in a state of increasing food insecurity.

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