The steady growth of the population in the Mediterranean region, which grew by 150 million inhabitants between 1975 and 2000, is the result of very different demographic dynamics between the northern countries, on the one hand, and the southern and eastern countries, on the other hand. This demographic growth has been accompanied by heavy urbanization and concentration in the coastal zone. Other disparities are developing between the northern Mediterranean countries and the southern and eastern Mediterranean countries (the SEM countries), especially in terms of economic growth and human development. Poverty strongly affects the rural sector of the SEM countries, the majority of whose inhabitants live from an often family-based agriculture with unpredictable results. The pressure on the resources of the Mediterranean region is growing. The dependence of the SEM countries for basic food products is strong and the recourse to imports is growing. In this paper, data is presented to give a better idea of the state of food safety and food security for the countries of the Mediterranean region. Complementary research paths between the north and south sides of the Mediterranean are envisaged, in order to reduce the disparities and build a veritable Euro-Mediterranean rural entity benefiting from new basic knowledge produced by a network of regional research and higher education institutions working together in order to promote sustainable rural development.
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