The hottest and driest regions are axiomatically the most vulnerable to food scarcity. If these regions include third world countries, then economic dependence and political crises are added to land infertility and rain scarcity. Food shortages have become a threat to many countries, including the Maghreb ones despite their moderate climate, fertile lands and developed economies compared to the majority of other African countries.
How will this shortage affect Maghreb families, especially the poor ones and those with limited incomes? Is the specter of famine looming again? Will the world establish a new food economy map especially that water tables are drying up steadily in many parts of the globe?
Food shortage will definitely affect families in Maghreb countries, especially those that did not take – two or three decades ago – preventive measures for birth control and cutting down overpopulation, those that made huge economic mistakes by encouraging tourism or small services – for example – at the expense of agriculture, and those that resorted to dependence towards the West in order to guarantee the continuation of their ruling systems only to become subject to unfair foreign conditions that depleted their natural and agricultural resources… Amidst these distortions, the climate’s volatility has been increasing and scaringly tending towards long hot months, drought, and a growing scarcity of water tables.
What are the future prospects? Will the world race to secure food thus forming new global clusters and systems, after having spent more than half of the last century in a feverish arms race? What will happen to the Great Maghreb amidst these new circumstances?
Maghreb families will undeniably be affected by the food shortage, since it’s always the peoples – especially the poor – who pay the price of wars, famines and natural disasters. We should not waste our time and energy in elaborating expectations; we should rather urgently develop an effective Maghreb plan that will combine the efforts of the AMU’s countries, and revive their agreements. This will enable our countries to collectively address emergencies, and establish a genuine economic shield to protect our future generations from the risk of starvation, and our countries from succumbing to a dependency that we cannot afford or stand towards rich countries.
We should not wait for the crisis to take shape; we should rather activate the common Maghreb market. We should share experiences in agriculture, land reclamation and animal husbandry; ensure a population distribution that will encourage people to live in agricultural areas and reduce migration to industrial cities; and promote higher education and scientific research in agricultural engineering, chemistry and veterinary medicine… Maghreb countries need to stop adopting improvised temporary solutions and start establishing a preventive program to achieve economic security and food self-sufficiency, which are the basis of national security.