Building Sustainable Agriculture for Food Security in the Euro-Mediterranean Area: Challenges and Policy Options

Call For Papers

The International Affairs Institute (IAI), the OCP Policy Center, the Economic and Social Sciences Research Unit at the Agronomy and Veterinary Medicine Institute Hassan II of Rabat and the Center for International Food and Agricultural Policy (CIFAP) at the University of Minnesota are organizing an international conference on

Building Sustainable Agriculture for Food Security in the Euro-Mediterranean Area: Challenges and Policy Options in the framework of their multi-year strategic partnership

The conference will take place in Rabat, Morocco, on November 20-21, 2014. The program will include between 10-12 papers, with one or two discussants for each paper.

Sustainable agriculture and food security appear of particular concern for the countries of the Southern Mediterranean region, representing one of the biggest challenges facing the area. As a consequence of the region’s heavy reliance on food imports, the sharp increase in food prices since 2007 has had severe adverse effects in several countries, causing macro-economic problems (inflation, trade deficits, fiscal pressure), increased poverty and political instability. This challenge, coupled with the consequences of environmental degradation and water stress, call for the urgent need to develop sustainable agriculture and food systems.

At the same time, the European agriculture sector is under stress. In light of the interdependence of Southern Mediterranean and European economies, Euro-Mediterranean relations take on particular relevance for food security and, more in general, for sustainable agricultural development. However, agriculture has been marginalized in Euro-Mediterranean cooperation so far and the EU continues to restrict agricultural imports in order to protect the European Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), fearing competition from the southern shore of the Mediterranean. At the same time, the EU and its Southern Mediterranean partners face common agricultural challenges such as climate change, food price volatility and water stress, which underscores the importance of reinforcing regional cooperation to build sustainable food systems.

We invite submissions that explore issues and policy responses to address food security and agricultural challenges in the countries of the Southern Mediterranean region within the framework of Euro-Mediterranean relations. As food security is a complex issue involving multiple dimensions (macro and micro) and aspects (economic, political, social and cultural), we are especially interested in papers offering wide-ranging policy proposals.

Topics of interest include:

How does the CAP shape agriculture and food systems in the countries of the Southern Mediterranean?

How can positive synergies between domestic agricultural policies in the EU and in the Southern Mediterranean region be created so as to achieve sustainable regional food security?

What are the potential gains of more integrated agriculture and food systems on both sides of the Mediterranean?

What are the current and likely effects of agricultural trade liberalization between the two regions in terms of agriculture productivity, growth, trade, FDI and impact on small farmers?

How could the EU contribute to improving the potential for domestic food production in the countries of the Southern Mediterranean as well as intra-Southern Mediterranean trade?

What common solutions can be put forth to tackle the challenges of price volatility, water stress and climate change as well as their impact on sustainable agriculture and food security?

What policy options and opportunities are available in the framework of Euro-Mediterranean cooperation to enhance economies of scale and boost global competition in the food processing sector?

Abstracts of no more than 500 words should be submitted by June 15, 2014.

Authors selected will be informed by June 30, 2014.

Authors will be invited to submit a draft version of their paper by September 30 and will be expected to present it at the conference in November. Accepted authors will receive an honorarium of EUR 1,000 and reimbursement of travel and accommodation costs to attend the November conference.

Read more and submit your abstracts here.

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