Agriculture and exportation of agricultural produce constitutes an important aspect for many countries in the Middle East and North Africa. Agricultural exports mainly focus on so-called “cash-crops”, high value products which consume a large amount of water during production, even though the entire region suffers from water scarcity. Remarkably, at the same time, almost all countries of the region depend on imports of staple foods for their domestic consumption. This mismatch has severe consequences for the region’s food security and food sovereignty. Small-scale farmers are often neglected, and their interests sidelined. With more and more food subsides slashed in the light of budget austerity, the price fluctuations of imported staple foods have great impact on social justice.
Additionally, work in the agricultural sector is often dominated by female work and by the absence of and social safety nets, which connects the issue of agriculture necessarily with a discussion of social justice in the region.