On 30 June 2023, the IOFS delegation led by the Director General of the Islamic Organization for Food Security, His Excellency Prof. Yerlan Alimzhanuly Baidaulet attends the meeting of the Presidium of Kazakhstan’s Agriculture Academy in Almaty, Kazakhstan that aimed at fostering cooperation and partnership in the field of agricultural science and private sector collaboration.
The first and foremost, the IOFS's Director General was received by the esteemed President of the Kazakhstan's Academy of Agricultural Sciences, His Excellency Academician Tlektes Issabaiuly Yespolov for the meeting with the Presidium of Members of the Academy. The Kazakhstan's Academy of Agricultural Sciences is renowned for its distinguished roster of over 260 professors and academicians specializing in various agricultural disciplines. President Yespolov provided a comprehensive introduction to the Academy, highlighting its expertise and its potential role as the coordinating body for agricultural science establishments in Kazakhstan. The Academy Presidium’ Members made speeches emphasizing the Academy's commitment to serving as a catalyst for agricultural research innovations and fostering collaborations with international partners.
The Director General of IOFS expressed appreciation and noted in leveraging the Academy's vast knowledge base and collaborative platform to enhance agricultural development within the OIC Member States. Furthermore, H.E. Yerlan Baidaulet delivered a speech emphasizing the significance of agricultural science and importance of active participation from the scientific community in OIC countries in implementing agricultural projects. In addition, considering the importance of a platform for scientific collaboration between OIC countries and its potential for innovation, research, and development in the field of agriculture, the IOFS shared commitment to establishing the Association of Agricultural Academies (AAA) among OIC Member States, with the Kazakhstan's Academy playing a crucial role as the coordinating body.
During the meeting, the IOFS Director General highlighted the current challenges of food insecurity worldwide, including in the hosting country. The comprehensive approach and systemic work required to address these challenges necessitate effective governance, informed policy decision-making, interagency coordination, private sector engagement, and active involvement of the scientific community. It is crucial to receive support from the Academy in facilitating evidence-based research to inform policy-making and find solutions to food security issues. Additionally, fostering better cooperation with OIC Member States is essential to collectively tackle the global food insecurity crisis.
This Association aims to facilitate collaboration, foster innovation, and promote the exchange of expertise and best practices among agricultural academicians within the OIC countries. This initiative, previously conceptualized by IOFS, aims to facilitate collaboration and knowledge sharing among OIC member countries in the field of agricultural science. The recent IOFS Executive Board meeting supported this IOFS initiative, and it will be further submitted for approval to the upcoming IOFS General Assembly in October in Qatar. Furthermore, both parties discussed potential areas of cooperation, including facilitation of joint research projects, knowledge exchange programs, and capacity-building initiatives aimed at improving agricultural productivity and resilience.
Subsequently, the IOFS Director General conducted another meeting with the President and representatives of the Kazakh Research Institute of Processing and Food Industry. This meeting focused on exploring opportunities for collaboration within the framework of the IOFS subsidiary, the International Food Processing Association (IFPA). Discussions centeredaround fostering mutually beneficial partnerships and leveraging the expertise and resources of both institutions to enhance the agricultural and food processing sectors within OIC member countries.
IOFS also has signed an MOU with the Kazakh Scientific Research Institute of Processing Food, focusing on the Institute's close engagement with the IOFS subsidiary, the International Islamic Food Industry Association (IFPA), on the Bakery Supply Chain (BSC) project. BSC is an IOFS initiative that aims to stimulate the flour products and bakery market for long-term development, build a sustainable bakery supply chain for the local market, as well as for export high-value-added productswithin OIC by using a cluster approach. The project is launchingfrom Kazakhstan to the GCC, as Kazakhstan has the highest potential for wheat and flour, with successful application in other OIC countries where the project would be acceptable to launch. The Kazakh Scientific Research Institute of Processing Food is involved in developing technologies for the making ofin-demand flour products from Kazakhstani components.
It is to note that the IOFS Director General was accompanied by the program manager of the Programs and Project Department.