The Arab Organization for Agricultural Development (AOAD) celebrated the Arab Agriculture Day on the 27th of September 2019, under the theme “Water, Energy and Food NEXUS are Essential Elements for Attaining Food Security and Sustainable Development”, in Tunisia. The celebration this year was under the patronage of H.E Mr. Samir El-Tayeb, the Tunisian Minister of Agriculture, Water Resources and Fisheries. The celebration was attended by a number of officials from the Arab Ministries of Agriculture, representatives of Arab and regional organizations, agricultural experts and media.
The Director-General of AOAD H.E Prof. Ibrahim Adam El Dukheri, addressed the ceremony by welcoming the attendees. He expressed his sincere thanks and appreciation to the Government of Tunisia for hosting this event, in particular H.E Mr. El Tayeb and his staff.
H.E Prof. El Dukheri pointed out that the celebration of the Agriculture Day this year came under the theme “Water, Energy and Food NEXUS are Essential Elements for Attaining Food Security and Sustainable Development”, because of the importance between the NEXUS elements in the sustainable agricultural development in the Arab region. He added, that the agriculture and energy sectors depend mainly on water, and that the climate change complicated this situation more, leading to a drier Arab region and high temperature. He added that policies must be adopted to reduce the dependence of our economies and our development on water supply. H.E Prof El Dukheri stressed the need to monitor the use of water, renovate irrigation systems and increase the productivity of water at the field level and the reduction of water losses in the food chain. The linkage of water to food security and energy security has also made it an important strategic resource that has outstripped other natural and economic resources, as a result of increasing population and increasing food needs. Moreover, the significance of water demand management and how to optimize water use for food security, energy security and resource sustainability have become increasingly important.
H.E Prof El Dukheri also stressed that we cannot achieve security in any of these three sectors independently without taking into account trade-offs with the other two sectors, as this would endanger the security and sustainability of the three sectors. It also requires balanced policies in the three sectors from supply management to resource efficiency, demand management and the shift towards more sustainable consumption patterns. Moreover, the implementation of policies and legislation supporting this trend, and increased synergies to achieve sustainable resource use within the framework of the Arab Sustainable Agricultural Development Strategy and the Sustainable Development Goals 2030, and the Convention on Climate Change and the Sunday Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. H.E Prof El Dukheri also pointed out that AOAD mentioned the importance to the issue of interdependence between food, water and energy in its annual programs through the implementation of studies and training workshops, which are implemented in cooperation with relevant regional and international organizations.
In this context, during the last year, AOAD organized a national dialogue meeting on water, energy and food interdependence in Sudan, during the 30th of October 2018, under the auspices of the Ministry of Water and Energy in Sudan in cooperation with the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), within the framework of the regional dialogue for interdependence in the Middle East and North Africa
At the end of his speech, H.E Prof El Dukheri expressed his great gratitude and appreciation to Tunisia for its active and valuable contributions to consolidate the joint Arab action in the agricultural, animal and fisheries fields and for the unlimited support provided to AOAD.
H.E Mr El Tayeb, delivered a speech in which he welcomed the participants and congratulated them on this great occasion of the Arab Agriculture Day, affirming his support to AOAD and expressed his sincere thanks and appreciation to H.E Prof. El-Dukheri and the staff of the AOAD on their efforts to achieve sustainable agricultural development in the Arab region. He pointed out that the Arab countries are still suffering from a significant shortage of major food products, especially cereals, vegetable oils and sugar.
H.E Mr. El Tayeb stressed that Tunisia is keen and ready to support joint cooperation among Arab countries to serve sustainable Arab food security and make Arab agriculture able to meet the growing needs of our countries' foodstuffs, both quantitatively and qualitatively.
H.E Prof. El-Dukheri, presented AOAD shield at the end of the celebration to H.E Mr El Tayeb, for his great efforts in the field of joint Arab action and his support for the activities and programs of AOAD