Paris, May 23rd, 2018: Feedback on IPEMED’s participation to the Seminar "Food geostrategy in the Mediterranean: the cereal issue"
Zaheen Dosemahomed, IPEMED
On May 23rd, a public meeting of the Académie de l’Agriculture was held on “Food geostrategy in the Mediterranean: the cereal issue" and was moderated by Jean-Louis RASTOIN, professor emeritus at Montpellier Supagro and member of the Scientific Committee of The IPEMED.
The event brought together both academics and industrials, including:
- Jean-Louis RASTOIN, in Introduction,
- Sébastien ABIS, director of the DEMETER Club, researcher associated with IRIS
- Rémi HAQUIN, farmer, head of the FranceAgriMer cereals Specialist Council
- Gilles KINDELBERGER, DG Senalia, Rouen
- Omar BESSAOUD, professor of agricultural and rural economics in the Mediterranean at CIHEAM-IAM-Montpellier
- Jean-Paul CHARVET, corresponding member of the Academy of Agriculture, in conclusion.
For half a century, the countries of North Africa and the Middle East have structurally become importers of cereals. Indeed, between climatic, demographic, political, land and economic constraints, these countries face major production difficulties, in parallel with a significant increase in cereal demand.
Along with the prevailing food insecurity, and the high consumption of wheat in this area, it is useful and urgent to think about the construction of alternative food systems to contribute to the objectives of sustainable development as defined by the United Nations.
The event revolved around several points:
- France, the world's fifth largest producer of wheat, is the first supplier of the countries of North Africa, the largest consumers of cereals. It is however challenged by new actors, including Russia and Ukraine, producing “more and better”.
- Facing this competition, the French cereal sector must adopt new strategies in the Mediterranean, including:
- The maintenance of trust relationships between its traditional partners;
- The need for efficient and competitive logistical tools. For example, SENALIA, a large cereal producer, has diversified its activities by providing all the logistics and storage for agro-industries. The group also intends to extend its services to the Mediterranean area and in the near future, Africa.
- Third importing country in the world of wheat after Egypt and Indonesia, Algeria has a strategic role: the country "crushes almost as much wheat as the French flour mill, i.e 4 Mt/year” says Rémi HAQUIN. Furthermore, the Algerian inter-professional cereal Office (OAIC) acts as a central purchasing, and manages all the agreements between Algeria and the exporting countries to supply the Algerian market.
> Find summaries of the speeches, the PowerPoints and photos of the event, on the website of the Académie de l’Agriculture: