Launched in 2014 at the request of the Agriculture Ministers of the 13 member States of CIHEAM (International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies), the Mediterranean agricultural market information network (MED-Amin) met in Rome (Ital
The meeting, which follows that of Paris (January 2014) and Izmir (November 2014), marks the strengthening of the MED-Amin initiative to promote cooperation and to facilitate the sharing of experiences between national information systems on grain markets (wheat, corn, barley and rice).
It took place in a context of international and regional mobilization around food security, agriculture, food and science diplomacy aimed at sharing ideas,
experiences and analyses at a time when we must also fight against waste of knowledge (World Exhibition in Milan, launch of the Global Agenda post-2015, COP 21, etc.).
Coordinated by CIHEAM, MED-Amin works in relationship with the secretariat of the Multilateral Initiative AMIS (Agricultural Market Information System) based in Rome, FAO and the European Commission, whose representatives contributed to the discussions in Rome.
Member States of the network presented recent developments in their grain policies and discussed outlooks on global and regional markets.
The second report produced by MED-Amin on the collection of data was presented (detailed statistical series on market data for each commodity observed in the network), these results were discussed as well as the analyses presented by experts from the European Commission and AMIS.
Highlight on MED-Amin key facts
It is noteworthy that the 13 member States of CIHEAM gather about 6% of the world population, with nearly 450 million inhabitants who are major consumers of cereals and bread. With the information analysed in MED-Amin, for the period 2011-2013, it appears that these 13 States represent on average:
9% of cultivated areas of soft wheat on the planet (18 million hectares);
41% of the cultivated area of durum wheat in the world (7 million hectares) and 48% of the
world production of durum wheat (17 million tonnes);
27% of global wheat imports (41 million tonnes);
3% of the corn areas in the world (5 million hectares);
23% of world corn imports (25 million tonnes);
22% of cultivated areas in barley in the world (11 million hectares);
10% of world barley imports (35 million tonnes).
The representative of the Italian Minister stressed the importance to strengthen the MED-Amin network to build a common future in the Mediterranean and to strengthen food security. The Italian policies on cereal value chains were also presented during the meeting.
The Secretary General of CIHEAM, Mr Cosimo Lacirignola, recalled the importance of information sharing and the existing climate of trust within the network.
He also drew attention to the need to mobilize more resources, both human and financial, to ensure the continuity and deepening of MED-Amin activities. In conclusion, he underlined “the centrality of the subject treated by MED-Amin:
both the importance of having better understanding of the market dynamics, but also the centrality of cereals in the Mediterranean region. These productions are essential for the life of the populations and for the economies of the countries of the zone.
Alongside olive oil and other iconic foods, it could even be said that wheat is part of the common identity of the Mediterranean area “.
Network members agreed that future MED-Amin activities should focus on the countries capacity to produce cereal balances and short-term market forecasts.
It was decided to develop a Policy brief for decision makers on the grain situation in the Mediterranean, to update the grain statistics collected, to produce twice a year reports on harvesting and planting progress, to continue communication and watch activities, and to accentuate those on capacity building, training, surveys and research.
Links with the private sector should be consolidated. The network should hold its fourth meeting in 2016 in Tunisia.