The second Islamic Organisation for Food Security (IOFS) high-level forum on food security began yesterday in Doha with the participation of 150 people from 27 countries.

The three-day event is being organised by the Ministry of Municipality in cooperation with IOFS in Sheraton Hotel.

Addressing the opening ceremony, Minister of Municipality H E Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Subaie said that the forum is an important platform for discussing issues of food security and agricultural development within the OIC member states, which reflects shared commitment to search for sustainable solutions to the challenges faced collectively.

“The agenda of this important forum includes many sessions and discussions aimed at enhancing our common goals, through holding three sub-forums,” said the Minister.

He said that the first forum is on ‘Role of Civil Society in Enhancing Food Security’, the second forum on ‘Advanced Agricultural Technology and its Role in Promoting Sustainable Food Security’ and the third forum on the ‘Islamic Union for Food Industries on Strengthening Food Markets in OIC Countries’.

“These forums provide important opportunity to exchange opinions and discussions, and provide advanced scientific interventions that will be presented by a number of scientists, experts and policy makers in order to establish innovative and modern mechanisms that will help our countries develop appropriate plans, strategies and programmes to enhance food security,” said the Minister.

“I am confident that exchanging visions and enhancing cooperation and joint discussions will pave the way for a more food-secure future for our Islamic peoples,” said the Minister.

Minister of Agriculture, Water Resources and Fisheries of Tunisia H E Abdelmonem Belati called for intensifying efforts to improve the level of agricultural production, in a way that enhances food security in the region.

He noted that the forum is an opportunity to review joint efforts between countries to deal with challenges, and stressed Tunisia’s keenness and readiness to interact positively with the outcomes of the meeting in a way that serves sustainable food security for all member states of the organisation.

Vice Minister of Agriculture of Kazakhstan H E Erbol Taszhurekov expressed his deep gratitude to Qatar for the high level of professionalism in organising the forum, which brought together more than 150 participants representing 27 countries around the world.

“Only through collective efforts will we be able to transform current global challenges into new opportunities. The Islamic Organisation for Food Security aims to enhance the use of resources to address food-related challenges with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation,” said Taszhurekov.

Assistant Secretary General for Economic Affairs at the OIC H E Ahmad Kawesa Sengedo said OIC countries need to produce more food to meet the demand amid growing population. He stressed to bring about solutions to challenges of agriculture and food production.

FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for the Near East and North Africa H E Dr. Abdul Hakim Elwaer, said: “With a growing population and diminishing natural resources, we need to reorient our approach towards transforming agri-food systems to make them more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable.”

Director of Programmes & Projects Office of IOFS Dr. Zulfiqar Ali said that the forum represents a milestone in our collective commitment to addressing the pressing challenges of food security.