Challenges of food security in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries: an empirical analysis of fixed and random effects

Keywords: food security indicators, population, food price inflation, gross domestic product, fertilizer consumption, panel data analysis, GCC countries.


Purpose. This research aims to identify the challenges of the food security indicators in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries for the period 2000–2020.

Methodology / approach. The dataset of this study includes the annual secondary data covering the time 2000–2019 of the six GCC countries. The dependents variables represent the food security indicators whereas, the independents variables (explanatory) represent the challenging factors of the food security at the macro-level data. All the studied variables are reshaped in the balanced panel form; thus, the study uses a long panel, it has many periods (T = 20 years) but few entities (n = 6 countries of GCC) with the total 120 observation. The study applies three alternatives to panel data analysis.

Results. The results show that population is a significant driver of food security challenges in the GCC countries. Moreover, food price inflation has a significant impact on the food availability and stability but show no significance on food access and utilization. Fertilizer consumption causes significant problems with food use. The results show that there is an evidence of significant differences in food security across the GCC countries. The random-effects estimators of regression coefficients of food availability and stability challenges are more statistically efficient than those for pooled ordinary least square and fixed effects. While the fixed effects estimators are most preferred for the coefficients of food access and utilization challenges.

Originality / scientific novelty. Most scientific articles are mostly focused on examining the food security challenges from one separate aspect: economics, climate, or social aspects. Thus, the scientific novelty of the study is to investigate the combination of the food security challenges, social, economic, and agri-environmental factors in the GCC oil countries.

Practical value / implications. Through this research, it is proposed that decision-makers embark on interferences that stimulate food security to meet the continual increase in population also future research should be applied to the other factors that challenged food security.


FAO (2021). The State of Food and Agriculture 2021. Making agrifood systems more resilient to shocks and stresses. FAO, Rome.

FAO (2019). How to feed the world in 2050. FAO, Rome. Available at:

Bhuyan, B., Sahoo, B. K., & Suar, D. (2020). Food insecurity dynamics in India: A synthetic panel approach. Social Sciences & Humanities Open, 2(1), 100029.

Poudel, D., & Gopinath, M. (2021). Exploring the disparity in global food security indicators. Global Food Security, 29(2021), 100549.

Mohammadi, E., Singh, S. J., McCordic, C., & Pittman, J. (2022). Food security challenges and options in the Caribbean: insights from a scoping review. Anthropocene Science, 1(1), 91–108.

Abulibdeh, A., Zaidan, E., & Al-Saidi, M. (2019). Development drivers of the water-energy-food nexus in the Gulf Cooperation Council region. Development in Practice, 29(5), 582–593.

KSA Vision (2016). Saudi Vision 2030. Saudi Arabia: the government of Saudi Arabia. Available at:

Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the Future (2020). Future Possibilities Report 2020. Abu Dhabi, Government of United Arab Emirates. Available at:

Alharthi, M. (2019). Determinants of economic development: a case of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Countries. International Journal of Economics and Finance, 11(11), 12–18.

World Bank (2020). International migrant stock (% of the population). Available at:

Lin, H. I., Yu, Y. Y., Wen, F. I., & Liu, P. T. (2022). Status of food security in East and Southeast Asia and challenges of climate change. Climate, 10(3), 40.

FAOSTAT (2021). Statistical data. Available at:

The Economist Intelligence Unit (2020). Global Food Security Index 2020: building resilience in the face of rising food-security risks. Available at:

Hassen, T. B., & El Bilali, H. (2019). Food security in the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries: challenges and prospects. Journal of Food Security, 7(5), 159–169.

Devesh, S., & Affendi, A. M. A. (2020). Food security dynamics in Oman: VECM approach. Advances in Dynamical Systems and Applications, 15(2), 249–263.

Lampietti, J. A., Michaels, S., Magnan, N., McCalla, A. F., Saade, M., & Khouri, N. (2011). A strategic framework for improving food security in Arab countries. Food Security, 3(1), 7–22. https:/

Pirani, S. I., & Arafat, H. A. (2016). Interplay of food security, agriculture, and tourism within GCC countries. Global food security, 9, 1–9.

Al-Saidi, M., & Saliba, S. (2019). Water, energy and food supply security in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries – a risk perspective. Water, 11(3), 455.

Al-Handhali, K. Y., & Miniaoui, H. (2020). Food security in the GCC Countries: towards a more diversified and sustainable economic development. In H. Miniaoui (Eds.), Economic development in the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries (pp. 75–88). Gulf Studies, vol. 1. Springer, Singapore.

FAO (2014). The state of food insecurity in the world 2014. FAO, Rome. Available at:

Ghose, B. (2014). Food security and food self‐sufficiency in China: from past to 2050. Food and Energy Security, 3(2), 86–95.

Hall, C., Dawson, T. P., Macdiarmid, J. I., Matthews, R. B., & Smith, P. (2017). The impact of population growth and climate change on food security in Africa: looking ahead to 2050. International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability, 15(2), 124–135.

Tscharntke, T., Clough, Y., Wanger, T. C., Jackson, L., Motzke, I., Perfecto, I., Vandermeer, J., & Whitbread, A. (2012). Global food security, biodiversity conservation, and the future of agricultural intensification. Biological conservation, 151(1), 53–59.

Abegaz, K. H. (2017). Determinants of food security: evidence from Ethiopian Rural Household Survey (ERHS) using pooled cross-sectional study. Agriculture and Food Security, 6(1), 70.

Kassy, W. C., Ndu, A. C., Okeke, C. C., & Aniwada, E. C. (2021). Food security status and factors affecting household food security in Enugu State, Nigeria. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 32(1), 565–581.

Badghan, F., Namdar, R., & Valizadeh, N. (2020). Challenges and opportunities of transgenic agricultural products in Iran: convergence of perspectives using Delphi technique. Agriculture and Food Security, 9, 4.

He, G., Geng, C., Zhao, Y., Wang, J., Jiang, S., Zhu, Y., Wang, Q .… & Mu, X. (2021). Food habit and climate change impacts on agricultural water security during the peak population period in China. Agricultural Water Management, 258, 107211.

Faisal, I. M., & Parveen, S. (2004). Food security in the face of climate change, population growth, and resource constraints: implications for Bangladesh. Environmental Management, 34(4), 487–498.

Premanandh, J. (2011). Factors affecting food security and contribution of modern technologies in food sustainability. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 91(15), 2707–2714.

Molotoks, A., Smith, P., & Dawson, T. P. (2021). Impacts of land use, population, and climate change on global food security. Food and Energy Security, 10(1), e261.

Blekking, J., Waldman, K., Tuholske, C., & Evans, T. (2020). Formal/informal employment and urban food security in Sub-Saharan Africa. Applied Geography, 114, 102131.

Ridoutt, B., Baird, D., Bastiaans, K., Hendrie, G., Riley, M., Sanguansri, P., Syrette, J., & Noakes, M. (2016). Changes in food intake in Australia: comparing the 1995 and 2011 National Nutrition Survey results disaggregated into basic foods. Foods, 5(2), 40.

Bahadur, KC. K., Legwegoh, A. F., Therien, A., Fraser, E. D. G., & Antwi-Agyei, P. (2018). Food price, food security, and dietary diversity: a comparative study of urban Cameroon and Ghana. Journal of International Development, 30(1), 42–60.

Webb, P., Danaei, G., Masters, W. A., Rosettie, K. L., Leech, A. A., Cohen, J., Blakstad, M. … & Mozaffarian, D. (2021). Modelling the potential cost-effectiveness of food-based programs to reduce malnutrition. Global Food Security, 29, 100550.

Salahodjaev, R., & Mirziyoyeva, Z. (2021). The link between food security and life satisfaction: panel data analysis. Sustainability, 13(5), 2918.

Gödecke, T., Stein, A. J., & Qaim, M. (2018). Global burden of chronic and hidden hunger: trends and determinants. Global food security, 17, 21–29.

Ubaid‐ur‐Rehman, H., Asghar, W., & Khalid, N. (2021). Food security challenges for Pakistan during COVID‐19 pandemic: an overview of the response plan. World Food Policy, 7(1), 82–89.

Viana, C. M., Freire, D., Abrantes, P., Rocha, J., & Pereira, P. (2022). Agricultural land systems importance for supporting food security and sustainable development goals: a systematic review. Science of The Total Environment, 806(3), 150718.

Zhang, J., Tian, H., Shi, H., Zhang, J., Wang, X., Pan, S., & Yang, J. (2020). Increased greenhouse gas emissions intensity of major croplands in China: Implications for food security and climate change mitigation. Global Change Biology, 26(11), 6116–6133.

Yadav, S. S., Hegde, V., Habibi, A. B., Dia, M., & Verma, S. (2019). Climate change, agriculture, and food security. In S. S. Yadav, R. J. Redden, J. L. Hatfield, A. W. Ebert, D. Hunter (Eds.), Food Security and Climate Change.

Demeke, A. B., Keil, A., & Zeller, M. (2011). Using panel data to estimate the effect of rainfall shocks on smallholder’s food security and vulnerability in rural Ethiopia. Climatic Change, 108, 185–206. https://

Wang, J. (2010). Food security, food prices and climate change in China: a dynamic panel data analysis. Agriculture and Agricultural Science Procedia, 1, 321–324.

Xin, Y., & Tao, F. (2021). Have the agricultural production systems in the North China Plain changed towards to climate-smart agriculture since 2000? Journal of Cleaner Production, 299, 126940.

Chandio, A. A., Gokmenoglu, K. K., Ahmad, M., & Jiang, Y. (2021). Towards sustainable rice production in Asia: the role of climatic factors. Earth Systems and Environment, 6(1), 1–14.

Alnaser, W., & Alnaser, N. (2011). The status of renewable energy in the GCC countries. Renewable and sustainable energy reviews, 15(6), 3074–3098.

GCC-STAT (2012). Population Statistics in GCC Countries 2016–2019. Available at:

World Bank (2021). World Development Indicators, Data Bank. Available at:

Breusch, T. S., & Pagan, A. R. (1980). The Lagrange multiplier test and its applications to model specification in econometrics. The Review of Economic Studies, 47(1), 239–253.

Hausman, J. A. (1978). Specification tests in econometrics. Econometrica, 46(6), 1251–1271.

Salisu, A. A., & Isah, K. O. (2017). Revisiting the oil price and stock market nexus: a nonlinear panel ARDL approach. Economic Modelling, 66, 258–271.

Jarque, C. M., & Bera, A. K. (1980). Efficient tests for normality, homoscedasticity, and serial independence of regression residuals. Economics Letters, 6(3), 255–259.

Pesaran, M. H., Ullah, A., & Yamagata, T. (2008). A bias‐adjusted LM test of error cross‐section independence. The Econometrics Journal, 11(1), 105–127.

Levin, A., Lin, C. F., & Chu, C. (2002). Unit root tests in panel data: asymptotic and finite-sample properties. Journal of Econometrics, 108(1), 1–24.

Dickey, D. A., & Fuller, W. A. (1981). Likelihood ratio statistics for autoregressive time series with a unit root. Econometrica, 49(4),1057–1072.

Breitung, J., & Das, S. (2005). Panel unit root tests under cross‐sectional dependence. Statistica Neerlandica, 59(4), 414–433.

Hernández-Salmerón, M., & Romero-Ávila, D. (2015). Econometric Methods. In Convergence in output and its sources among industrialised countries. A cross-country time-series perspective (pp. 15–24). Cham, Springer.

Werkmann, V. (2013). Performance of unit root tests in unbalanced panels: experimental evidence. AStA Advances in Statistical Analysis, 97(3), 271–285.

Baltagi, B. H. (2001). Econometric analysis of panel data, 4th ed. Wiley, John, and Sons.

Park, H. M. (2011). Practical guides to panel data modeling: a step-by-step analysis using stata. Public Management and Policy Analysis Program. International University of Japan. Available at:

Greene, W. H. (2003). Econometric analysis, 5th ed. New York University. Available at:

Sun, P., Wu, B., Li, X., Li, W., Duan, L., & Gan, C. (2021). Counterfactual debiasing inference for compositional action recognition. In Proceedings of the 29th ACM International Conference on Multimedia (pp. 3220–3228).

Pickson, R. B., & Boateng, E. (2022). Climate change: a friend or foe to food security in Africa? Environment, Development and Sustainability, 24, 4387–4412.

Amolegbe, K. B., Upton, J., Bageant, E., & Blom, S. (2021). Food price volatility and household food security: evidence from Nigeria. Food Policy, 102, 102061.

Boulanger, P., Dudu, H., Ferrari, E., Mainar-Causapé, A. J., & Ramos, M. P. (2022). Effectiveness of fertilizer policy reforms to enhance food security in Kenya: a macro-micro simulation analysis. Applied Economics, 54(8), 841–861.

Xiang, T., Malik, T. H., & Nielsen, K. (2020). The impact of population pressure on global fertilizer use intensity, 1970–2011: an analysis of policy-induced mediation. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 152, 119895

Wardhani, F. S., & Haryanto, T. (2020). Foreign direct investment in agriculture and food security in developing countries. Contemporary Economics, 14(4), 510–521.

Adams, J., & White, M. (2015). Characterisation of UK diets according to degree of food processing and associations with socio-demographics and obesity: cross-sectional analysis of UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey (2008–2012). International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 12(1), 160.

Poti, J. M., Braga, B., & Qin, B. (2017). Ultra-processed food intake and obesity: what really matters for health-processing or nutrient content? Current obesity reports, 6(4), 420–431.

Matz, J. A., Kalkuhl, M., & Abegaz, G. A. (2015). The short-term impact of price shocks on food security-evidence from urban and rural Ethiopia. Food Security, 7(3), 657–679.

Barretto, R., Buenavista, R. M., Rivera, J. L., Wang, S., Prasad, P. V., & Siliveru, K. (2021). Teff (Eragrostis tef) processing, utilization and future opportunities: a review. International Journal of Food Science & Technology, 56(7), 3125–3137.

How to Cite
Elzaki, R. M. (2023). Challenges of food security in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries: an empirical analysis of fixed and random effects. Agricultural and Resource Economics: International Scientific E-Journal, 9(1), 44-68.