20 September 2022

On September 20, 2022, the two-day Regional training workshop on strategic planning and policy development in food security started in Cairo, Egypt. The event is organized by the IOFS Secretariat with the financial support of the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation (COMCEC) and Islamic Development Bank (IsDB).

The workshop brought together over 75 participants, including government officials from 20 OIC member countries, representatives of national institutions, academia, non-government and private sector, and international organizations.

It provided an interactive platform to discuss policy convergence and strengthen coordination at the regional and national levels for exchange and accumulation of the OIC Member States’ experience in food security governance, developing coherent policy frameworks and resilient inter-sectoral government systems.

The opening ceremony was launched with a keynote speech by the IOFS Director General H.E. Yerlan A. Baidaulet who gave an overview of IOFS strategic programs and highlighted the urgency of improving policies, programmes and interventions for addressing food insecurity problems, promote the responsive agriculture and enhance the sustainable food systems within OIC geography.

The opening session also included welcoming remarks of the Head of Programs and Projects Department of COMCEC Mr. Mehmet Aktaş; the Principal Agriculture Global Practice Manager of IsDB Mr. Nur Abdi and the Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation of the Arab Republic of Egypt H.E. Mr. Mohamed Al-Sayed El-Quseir who appreciated expedience and viability of the event in raising and addressing food security issues towards implementation of improved policies in the intra-OIC geography.

The workshop was contributed informative speeches and presentation dedicated to the IOFS Program on “Food Security Governance”. In particular, participants were familiarized with the national experience of Egypt on food security in line with the Egypt Vision 2030 and UAE’s National food security strategy and the work of Emirates Food Security Council.

Two sessions have been led by international experts of Sustainable Food Systems of Ireland (SFSI) provided the deep background of reforms taken by the Irish Government that have been leading the country being number one as per the Global Food Security Index, as well as familiarize with global food security practices and tools at the local level. Also, the SFSI-led group exercises gave an opportunity for participants to apply the gained knowledge in practice.

Subsequently, the presentation of Islamic Development Bank overviewed of how promotion of investments can sustain the food security, and showed the necessity of business enablement for the proper work of institutions. In addition, the content of the event was greatly complemented by the experience of International Food Policy Research Institute on running its Strategy Support Programs for food security and agricultural development in different countries, as well as practices of designing evidence-based food security strategies in MENA region introduced by the American University in Beirut.

The first day of the workshop had a special outcome emphasizing the importance of multi-stakeholder and participatory approach within the designing of food security legal frameworks, necessity of strengthening the policy-making at local levels to support small-scale farmers, and ensure the proper implementation and monitoring of the impact of applied strategies.