The rise of agrifood technopoles in the Middle East and North Africa
The present study describes the main programmes and strategies to concentrate agribusiness development in MENA countries. The study of the examples of agribusiness competitiveness initiatives undertaken in the region places an emphasis on the new elements introduced in the revised agro-industrial policy, the common and distinctive features of the territorial agro-industrial programmes across the region, and the different level of maturity or sophistication achieved by the different initiatives. MENA’s recent agro-industrial plans based on the food pole concept represents a new generation of policy models that introduces six major changes. First, there has been a transition from top-down to bottom-up agro-industrial policies. Second, innovation and FDI attraction have been pinpointed as a key driver for agro-industrial development in MENA countries. Third, the policy focus has shifted from fostering the competitiveness of individual firms (intercept of the industrial, agricultural, regional development and innovation policies) to institutional innovations that seek to establish a critical mass of inter-linked enterprises, services, investment and infrastructure development. Fourth, the policy has become multidimensional embracing agricultural, industrial, innovation and regional policies, and creating a collaborative framework among all the public agencies concerned. Fifth, it evidences governments’ willingness to attain simultaneously two goals, i.e. ensuring food security and raising the competitiveness of the food industry. Sixth, the new policy centres its efforts on enhancing networking, forging strategic alliances and developing inter-firm and university-corporate linkages.
AGS main series:
Agricultural Management, Marketing and Finance Working Documents