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Food Security in the Middle East$
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Zahra Babar and Suzi Mirgani

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199361786

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199361786.001.0001

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Historic Food Regimes and the Middle East

Historic Food Regimes and the Middle East

(p.19) 2 Historic Food Regimes and the Middle East
Food Security in the Middle East

Eckart Woertz

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyses how different food regimes have affected Middle Eastern countries. A food regime describes a system that allocates food resources via two institutions that have shaped modernity — markets and states. From the 1870s to 1930s, colonial export trade in grain supplies from Australia, the United States, Canada, Russia and India to the UK and other industrialising countries was the defining characteristic of the first food regime. Following the Great Depression, the second food regime emerged after the Second World War. Subsidised agriculture in industrialised countries and surplus disposal to the developing world were at its core. By the 1970s, all countries in the Middle East were dependent on grain imports. World Trade Organization-sponsored liberalisation, deregulation of agriculture, speculation, financial markets’ demands, and increased corporatisation of value chains in global food production helped precipitate the global food crisis, producing what can be argued to be a third food regime.

Keywords:   food regimes, Middle East, industrialising countries, World Trade Organization, global food crisis, colonial export trade, deregulation, corporatisation

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