OIC Food System Talent Development

PILLAR 4:Industry Development

Strategic Objectives

Strengthen OIC Agri-food industry competitiveness to enable export growth by large to SMEs, Intra-OIC trade, and post-harvest loss mgmt

Strategic Programmes

  • IFPA International Islamic Food Processing Association
  • OIC Food System Talent Development

10 year goals

  • Enabling food exports growth of OIC companies to enable net food exports
  • Enable champion companies from OIC
  • Reduce food wastage, post-harvest losses

Programmes of Pillar 4

OIC Food System Talent Development

Strategic Objectives:

Develop human capital for sustainable food systems.

Strategic Objectives:

  1. Strengthen Talent Pool: Expand and strengthen the talent pool for the food and agriculture sectors across OIC Member Countries.
  2. Facilitate University Collaboration: Actively support and encourage collaboration and partnerships among agricultural universities in OIC Member States.
  3. Implement Best Practices: Ensure the effective implementation of best practices in developing and executing food security education programs at universities.
  4. Include Education in School Curricula: Explore the feasibility and benefits of including food security education in school curricula to enhance awareness.

Program Description:

The IOFS Talent Development Program addresses food insecurity challenges by focusing on policy-level responses and investing in the education and training of youth to drive positive changes in agriculture and food systems. The program aims to develop human capital in the OIC Member States, strengthen university roles in food security education, foster collaboration among agricultural universities, provide support to smallholder farmers, and raise awareness of food and nutrition security from an early age. Through capacity-building initiatives and interdisciplinary education, the program empowers young specialists, particularly in OIC least developed countries, contributing to sustainable food systems and informed policymaking.


Food insecurity and under-education, prevalent in many OIC countries, particularly in rural areas, create a challenging cycle of poverty. Targeted food security and education programs recognizing these linkages can directly contribute to achieving food security and nutrition. Universities, globally establishing Centers of Food Security, play a vital but often untapped role in enhancing the well-being of small-scale farmers and fostering economic development. Strengthening cooperation among universities and research entities is crucial to effectively communicate insights that inform policymakers in addressing food system challenges and feeding a growing population.


  1. Enhance Competitiveness: Bolster the overall competitiveness of the OIC Agrifood industry.
  2. Promote Collaboration: Foster increased collaboration and partnerships among agricultural universities within OIC Member States.
  3. Improve Education Programs: Introduce best practices for developing and implementing robust food security education programs in universities.
  4. Raise Awareness: Consider the inclusion of food security education in school curricula to raise awareness about food and nutrition security.


The program is implemented through a multi-faceted approach, involving collaboration with strategic partners such as RUFORUM, IsDB, ICYF, and others. Activities include high-level forums, hybrid workshops, and side events at prominent gatherings like the RUFORUM Annual General Meeting. Planned activities focus on integrating IOFS efforts into existing university initiatives, raising awareness of business and research connections, and conducting workshops on food security education. Launching possible scholarships plays a pivotal role in supporting government officials of OIC Member States to pursue an Online Food Security Diploma at AUB.


  • Strengthening talent pool in the food and agriculture sectors across OIC Member Countries.
  • Enhancing collaboration and partnerships among agricultural universities in OIC Member States.
  • Improving implementation of food security education programs in universities.
  • Increasing awareness about food security and nutrition at the school level.
  • Empowering young specialists, particularly in OIC least developed countries, through scholarships and capacity-building initiatives.

Highlights of implemented activities (activity-wise for each activity):

  • 2022: 1st IOFS High-Level Forum on Food Security

Conducted on June 8-9, 2022, in Almaty, Kazakhstan, in collaboration with Kazakh National Agrarian Research University (KazNARU), the forum gathered 173 attendees from 22 OIC Member States. The event focused on human capital development for sustainable food security, fostering inter-university cooperation, strengthening university roles, and raising awareness of food and nutrition security principles for youth.

  • 2023: Hybrid Workshop at KazATU

A two-day workshop on "Development of Curriculum & Introduction of Education Program on Food Security" took place on June 21-22, 2023, in Astana, Kazakhstan. In a hybrid format, it brought together 20 physical attendees from the Kazakh Agrotechnical Research University and 15 online participants. The workshop aimed to share knowledge, experiences, and best practices in teaching food security at universities, featuring expert speakers from institutions globally.

  • 2023: Side-event at RUFORUM AGM in Cameroon

On November 1, 2023, during the 19th RUFORUM Annual General Meeting, a side event titled "Building Food Systems Governance and Policy Analysis Capacity in Africa" was conducted. The event aimed to present best practices in food policy education to principals of RUFORUM member universities, focusing on food security policy and governance. It attracted 41 beneficiaries, including academia, government agencies, international organizations, and university graduates, with presentations from IOFS, RUFORUM, Makerere University of Uganda, American University of Beirut, American University in Cairo, and the University of Agriculture Faisalabad. IOFS actively promoted collaboration between Egypt, Pakistan universities, and African Universities, significantly increasing its presence at the large forum by over 500 participants.

Highlights of planned activities (activity-wise for each activity):

1) Integration into University Activities and Talent Development Platforms

2) Awareness-Raising on Business & Research Connections

3) Food Security Education: conducting workshops for universities on curriculum development and teaching food security, promoting scholarships

Success story

The strategic initiatives, encompassing integration into university programs and targeted awareness campaigns on business and research connections, have resulted in notable achievements in food security education and talent development across OIC countries. One such achievement was the successful convening of the 1st IOFS High-Level Forum in 2022, which brought together 173 attendees from 22 OIC Member States. This event not only promoted inter-university collaboration but also raised awareness of essential food security principles among the youth. Building on this momentum, the 2023 Hybrid Workshop at KazATU facilitated knowledge exchange on curriculum development, contributing to improvements in teaching practices in food security. Additionally, an event at the 19th RUFORUM AGM in Cameroon, which attracted 41 beneficiaries, showcased best practices in food policy education and fostered collaboration between universities in Egypt, Pakistan, and various African institutions.

Strategic Partners:

  • Universities: Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Uganda, Cameroon, Somalia, and others.

Cross-linked IOFS Programs: