The problems facing developing countries and countries with economies in transition are many and daunting: widespread poverty, low levels of productivity and infrastructure development as well as poorly integrated markets, especially in rural areas. These problems are further exacerbated by underdeveloped rural industrial organisation characterized by small and medium-size enterprises inadequately linked to world markets and, in some cases, by a still incomplete process of economic liberalisation in the transition from a centrally controlled economy to a market system.
With a total land area of more than 3 billion hectares and a total population of more than 1.5 billion in 2009, the OIC Member Countries (MCs) accounted for 24% of the world total land area and 22.45% of its total population. With a total agricultural area of more than 1.4 billion hectares in 2007, the OIC MCs accounted for 28.59% of the world agricultural area of which 38% of its total population is employed. Yet, the average contribution to total GDP in the group of the OIC is less than 20% which is an issue that needs urgent attention as agriculture is still considered as a primary economic activity that is assumed to play a significant role in the economies of many OIC MCs. A large proportion of resources are used to meet the demand for agricultural products through technology improvements, mainly in seeds, fertilizers and irrigation. Little attention has been given to the value chain through which agricultural products reach final consumers within the country and abroad. The magnitude of the damage caused by this neglect becomes obvious if one considers the enormous added value and employment opportunities that can be generated along the value chain from producers to consumers.
Online Electronic Version
Agro-Industry in the OIC Member Countries: An Overview of Potentials (English)