A new vision for agriculture
momagri, movement for a world agricultural organization, is a think tank chaired by Christian Pèes.
It brings together, managers from the agricultural world and important people from external perspectives,
such as health, development, strategy and defense. Its objective is to promote regulation
of agricultural markets by creating new evaluation tools, such as economic models and indicators,
and by drawing up proposals for an agricultural and international food policy.
A look at the news

Iran’s food security under threat

July 8, 2013

The economic and financial sanctions imposed by the Western World because of Iran’s nuclear program are weakening the Iranian economy and might lead to the emergence of a food crisis.

For some analysts and political scientists, an economic collapse is looming. The inflation rate has officially reached 31 percent, but food prices increased by more than 50 percent. In addition, the lack of cash flow, collapse of the national currency (the rial), drastic cuts in oil exports and rising unemployment continue to make matters worse. Last year’s summer was particularly harsh for Iranians, and thousands of them took to the streets to protest against rising chicken prices.

Yet as far as agriculture is concerned, Iran could revel in its wheat self-sufficiency in effect since 2007, and a new 2013 crop that is estimated to reach 15.5 million tons, a 10.7 percent increase over 2012. Iran is the world’s 12th wheat producer, the largest exporter of pistachio-nuts and largest producer of pomegranates and saffron. A valuable strategic and political asset for the successive governments since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, agriculture is a strategic segment of the country’s economy.

The July 1, 2012 tightening of international sanctions, combined with the inability of the Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Administration (2005-2013) to deal with the recession, have led the country to the edge of the abyss. In a context of structural hyper-volatility in global agricultural markets, the international sanctions have indirectly generated soaring food prices.

The June 14, 2013 surprising election of Hassan Rohani––the “moderate” and “pragmatic” candidate––to lead the country could work in favor of an economic détente and easing of international sanctions. But the rot seems to have already set in, and some observers are predicting that even if international sanctions were to be relaxed, the current situation would remain “unprecedented” since the 1979 revolution. The new president will require extensive know-how to protect the country from a food crisis and its potential socio-political consequences.

As the 2011 Arab Spring did show, food insecurity leads to political and social insecurity. Policy-makers must keep in mind the current threat to Iran, because if food insecurity leads to a food crisis, the repercussions in global markets can probably be expected.
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Paris, 25 June 2019