29 June 2021

Best practices for building Sustainable Food Systems in the OIC region

Inter-regional Dialogue of South-South Cooperation in the framework of Food Systems Summit

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Food insecurity remains one of the major problems faced by the world population. In fact, 135 million people suffer from acute hunger and malnutrition largely because of global recession, conflicts and climate change effects.[1] The situation has been even worsened due to direct and indirect consequences of COVID-19 crisis, as they followed with border lockdowns that disrupted the food supply chains, increased the costs of food for vulnerable households, and overall, intensified the vulnerabilities and inadequacies of national and global food systems. FAO predicted that the pandemic might increase the number of people that are undernourished by 83 to 132 million in 2020 (UN Report).[2]

Despite the significant decline in recent decades in the level of hunger and malnutrition in many OIC countries, this level is still quite alarming in some of them. The number of people battling with acute hunger and malnutrition stands at around 176 million, corresponding to 10.5% of the OIC total population. Considering that 176 million people are undernourished in the OIC region, the challenge of food security in OIC countries takes on an added importance because it affects their overall developmental trajectory in both the short- and the long-terms. Besides, OIC countries are also vulnerable to factors, such as conflicts, extreme weather, displace population, difficult economic conditions, lack of adequate infrastructure, pandemics and diseases. All of these threats put the pressure on food systems in the OIC member countries and requires immediate actions to address the underlying causes (SESRIC Report).[3]

In the longer-term, the food security is also dependent on the sustainable agriculture sector that has continued to play an important role in the social and economic development of OIC member countries and elsewhere by providing employment and livelihood for millions of people living especially in rural areas. The OIC member countries, as a group, are endowed with agricultural resources such as water, arable land, and human resources and account for a significant share of global agricultural production and trade. The latest statistics show that since 2010, the gross agricultural production index in OIC member countries recorded a much better performance comparing to the world average. However, despite of this considerable progress and huge potency, agricultural productivity in OIC member countries remained insufficient to feed the growing population.

Relevance of the Activity

Considering the importance of enhancing the national and regional capacities of building resilient food security systems to address the above-mentioned challenges, it is essential to consider the following areas of food security:

- Governance of Food Security (developing the coherent policy and legal frameworks; ensuring the coordinated intra- and inter-governmental actions; monitoring and evaluation mechanisms);
- Management of Food Supply Chains (maintenance of stable food supply chains and food imports; manufacturing, retail and logistics; technology trends in food supply chains, including digitalization of distribution and procurement systems);
- Promotion of Agricultural Development (government support to small farmers and farmer livelihoods, enhancing food processing, use of smart technology in agriculture);
- National Food System Dialogues (experience of member states of arranging National Dialogues, discussion of their organizational process, including the involvement of wide variety of stakeholders, as well as recommendations to build pathways and provide solutions for sustainable food systems).

In this regard, the Islamic Organization for Food Security (IOFS) in cooperation with other international organizations and national agencies of Member countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) will conduct the International Conference titled “Best practices for building Sustainable Food Systems in the OIC region”. The event will be organized within the framework of OIC-UN Cooperation.

Conference objectives

To discuss challenges of the food security systems in OIC Member countries;
To present best practices in Food Security Strategy Governance (UAE, Bangladesh, Indonesia, IFPRI, FAO); in Management of Food Supply Chains (Indonesia BULOG, FAO, Qatar’s Food Security Facilities); Promotion of Agricultural Development (Turkey, Sustainable Food Systems of Ireland) and use of smart agriculture (ICBA, ICARDA);
To share the experience of member countries on National Food System Dialogues (UAE, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia);
To elaborate on the international and regional cooperation in Food Security through the wide umbrella of IOFS;
To develop the Conference recommendations and provide them to governments of OIC Member countries and the UN FSS;
To conduct the event as the “Inter-regional Dialogue of South-South Cooperation” in coordination with the OIC Secretariat and the UN FSS.

Format: Online (Zoom platform)

Time: 14 July (02:00 pm-06:00pm, East Kazakhstan time, GMT+6)

Language: English (interpretation into Arabic, French, Russian)


The Conference participants will include government officials from various national agencies (Ministries of Agriculture; Food Security; Environment; Rural Development; Infrastructure; Emergency; Economy and Planning, Commerce and Business Development) of OIC Member countries, representatives of international and regional organizations, research entities, academia, private sector and civil society.

Expected results:

Key challenges, constrains and opportunities that agriculture and food systems face across OIC are discussed and identified;
The role of government and its decisions in governing food security systems is scrutinized, best practices in food security governance are shared with participants;
The experience of organizing National Food System Dialogues and their recommendations is exchanged between member states;
The areas of food supply management and government support of agro-businesses and small farmers, incorporating science technology and innovation in agricultural activities, are discussed among participants, as well as the experience is presented at the event;
The presented practices are collected and analyzed; the policy recommendations based on these practices are developed and provided to OIC Member countries and international partners.


The Conference will be organized by the Islamic Organization for Food Security with the support of the OIC Secretariat and in cooperation with the following organizations:

The State Ministry of Food and Water Security of United Arab Emirates;
The Ministry of Food of Bangladesh; the Food Planning and Monitoring Unit under the Ministry of Food of Bangladesh;
The Ministry of Agriculture Republic of Indonesia; the Ministry of National Development Planning of Indonesia; Indonesia’s National Food Logistics Agency (BULOG);
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Turkey;
The Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation of Egypt;
The Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning of Nigeria; the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Nigeria;
The Ministry of Municipality and Environment of Qatar:
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI);
International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA);
International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA);
UN Office for the Special Envoy of Secretary-General on World Food Systems Summit;
UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO);
Al Dahra Agricultural Company (UAE);
Sustainable Food Systems of Ireland


To attend the Conference and receive other informational materials regarding the event, including follow-up recommendations of the Conference, kindly register via the link:


[1] UN Policy Brief: The Impact of COVID-19 on Food Security and Nutrition, 2020.

[2] UN Policy Brief: The Impact of COVID-19 on Food Security and Nutrition, 2020.

[3] SESRIC Report (2020) Organization of Islamic Cooperation Statistical, Economic and Social Research and Training Centre for Islamic Countries. Agriculture and Food Security in OIC member countries in 2020. October 2020.