August 21, 2019

16 Initiatives Redefining Food and Agriculture Across the Middle East

Middle East Person Holding Veggies

Celebrating initiatives redefining food and agriculture around the world.

While new challenges from population density, urbanization, conflict, and climate change transform food systems, we’re scanning the globe for stories of hope and perseverance.

In the Middle East, the region once rich in agriculture now depends on international food systems. Home to the Fertile Crescent, the Middle East introduced domesticated agriculture nearly 12,000 years ago and fed not only itself, but nearby areas. But today, discrepancies between the demand for and the availability of locally produced food impact conflict-ridden countries like Yemen and Iraq, where over 27 percent of the population is undernourished, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization. And with refugees from conflict-ridden countries fleeing to other countries and putting new strains on their resources, the Middle East has transformed into the world’s largest importer of food.

Organizations and initiatives across the Middle East are confronting food insecurity and agricultural instability fueled by conflicts, climate change effects, urbanization, and natural resource scarcity. With environmentally and economically sustainable missions, these organizations are redefining how the Middle East grows, distributes, eats, and disposes of food.

Food Tank is highlighting 16 initiatives improving regional diets, food accessibility, biodiversity, farmer livelihoods, food waste management, and more: Ark of Taste, al Hima, Be’ah, Caesar Cider, CEWAS Middle East, Food Heritage Foundation, Food Not Bombs, La Vie Cafe and Mashjar Juthour, My Arabian Almanakh, Ramadan Sharing Fridges Campaign, Re:Food, SEKEM, The Arab Group for the Protection of Nature, The Iraqi Seed Project, The Palestinian Heirloom Seed Library, and The Urinal Project.

Which organizations are reclaiming agricultural and nutritional autonomy in your community to share with us!

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