The Arab countries in the Middle East and North Africa make up only 5 percent of the world’s population, yet they take in more than 20 percent of the world’s grain exports. Imports to the region have jumped from 30 million tons of grain in 1990 to nearly 70 million tons in 2011. Now imported grain accounts for nearly 60 percent of regional grain consumption. With water scarce, arable land limited, and production stagnating, grain imports are likely to continue rising.
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By Lester R. Brown Many countries are facing dangerous water shortages. As world demand for food has soared, millions of farmers have drilled too many irrigation wells in efforts to expand their harvests. As a result, water tables are falling and wells are going dry in some 20 countries containing half the world’s people. […]
With several new GO blogs launching in March, a few of sustainablog’s regulars moved on to other posting assignments. We were fortunate that a number of friends, such as the folks at Life Goggles, Environmental Defense Fund, and Eco-Libris, did admirable jobs in filling the gap. Additionally, we were pleased to republish several posts from […]
Saudi Arabia makes more than 10 million barrels of oil a day, but it may be turning an eye on a cleaner, brighter prospect: solar power. Oil minister Ali al-Nuaimi told French media that the oil-rich nation is researching how it can become a center for solar energy research and eventually become a “major megawatt” […]