29-September-2021
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AOAD Celebrates Arab Agriculture Day

By: Aisha Braima

KHARTOUM (SUDANOW) The Arab Organization for Agricultural Development (AOAD) has urged the Arab countries to pay concern with the strategic stock of food commodities and with investment in it on a commercial profit basis to enable the Arab world coping with the global food crisis, bearing in mind that the food deficit in the region reached 35.6 billion dollars.

Speaking at a ceremony held at the Organization HQ in Khartoum on the annual Arab Day of Agriculture (September 27), AOAD Director Dr. Tariq bin Mussa al-Zidjale attributed the decrease in Arab food gap (from 43.18 billion dollars in 2008) to the increase of agricultural and fishery production in Arab countries and the promotion of intra-Arab trade achieved through the implementation of the Arab League’s strategies and programmes as well as major country-level initiatives.He said the latter are not less than the regional initiatives because they complement and contribute to implementation of such regional programmes as the initiative by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah on the Saudi agricultural investment abroad and the Iraqi Government initiative.

"There are underway initiatives the Organization relies on for achieving the Arab food security in the framework of the food security emergency programme like the initiative by President Omar al-Beshir on agricultural investment in Sudan for achieving the Arab food security and the programme by Egypt’s President Abdul Fattah Sese for reclamation of 4 million feddans (acres)" said Dr. Zidjale.

He wished that the Arab countries could unify their efforts for integration and for directing the billion-dollar food deficit for financing agricultural projects for producing the main food commodities in the Arab countries rich in natural resources. He lamented the poor funding for the major projects of agricultural development and food security in the Arab region despite efforts by the Arab development financing institutions. The annual development assistance provided for the agricultural sector by the Arab financing institutions is not in excess of 22,94 million dollars for each country while implementation of the emergency Arab security programmes requires an annual 294 million dollars for each country, the AOAD Director said.

The Sudanese Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation, Engineer Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid, has stressed that the Sudan is qualified for achieving the Arab food security. He said the Sudan has drawn up a unified vision for implementation of the President’s initiative for attaining the Arab food security for contribution to bridging the Arab food gap.

The Minister said numerous infrastructural projects have been completed beside availability of energy resources and construction of dams, something which enables the Sudan to attract Arab investments, cut down the cost of production, upgrade the rate of productivity and facilitate the exportation process for contribution to realizing the Arab food security. He thanked the Arab governments which have contributed to those accomplishments.

Hamid said the Sudan has introduced the modern technologies for raising production and productivity for contribution to attaining the Arab food security. He wished that the Arab investments would be increased in addition to finding strategic partnerships for development of the agricultural production pattern by introducing the modern technologies in pursuance of the successful Arab investment experiences of partnerships between the government and the private sector such Amtar (rains) project in the Northern State which employs the latest technologies in all agricultural operations.

He commended the role played by AOAD in support of the Sudan and other Arab countries, particularly in the field of development and studies, noting that the Organization’s assistance has reached Darfur states through the Arab programme for integral and sustainable agricultural development.

Dr. Ma’a al-Aynain, the Ambassador of Morocco and Doyen of the Arab diplomatic corps in Sudan, hailed the AOAD and its role in confronting the international food crises that face the Arab countries and its focal role in enhancing the Arab agricultural sector for realizing the Arab food security. He noted that the Arab agricultural sector is presently witnessing a positive drive which contributed to stability of the Arab food gap, underlining that the Moroccan government respects instructions by King Mohamed Sixth on placing concern on the agricultural sector in Morocco.

It is noteworthy the AOAD was founded under an Arab League resolution and the Sudanese capital Khartoum was chosen as its seat in view of the Sudan’s abundant agricultural resources which, if exploited, can be of a positive impact on the Arab food security.

The Organization, commenced operation in 1972, is aimed at establishing and strengthening bonds among the Arab countries and at coordinating cooperation among them in all agricultural fields and activities.
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