A workshop was launched on Monday 30 April 2018 in the Conference Hall at the headquarters of the Arab Organization for Agricultural Development in Khartoum, Sudan on the future Vision of the Sudanese initiative for Arab food security within the framework of the initiative announced by President Omar Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir, President of the Republic of Sudan which ended by the 1st of May 2018.
This initiative came on the reality and prospects of the Arab food security, the investment environment, the reality and horizons of agricultural investment to bridge the food gap in the Arab world, transform the distinguished agricultural researches into agricultural products and industrial products and the role of modern technologies in increasing production in quantity & quality.
The workshop was organized by the Arab Organization for Agricultural Development (AOAD) in cooperation with the Union of Arab Scientific Research Councils, the Sudanese Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), the Ministry of Finance and National Economy and the Arab Authority for Agricultural Investment and Development.
The workshop emphasized the importance of an existing Arab strategy in agricultural sciences, including the sustainable management of wealth and natural resources, improvement and creation of investment opportunities, the use of scientific research outputs to support innovation and linking them to industry, especially food industries.
The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning of Sudan, H.E Dr Mohammed Othman Al Rikabi addressed the opening ceremony of the workshop. He pointed out that the Sudanese government adopted some strategies in the Arab region as well as international programs that achieve sustainable development objectives. He added that this workshop came to bridge the food gap in the Arab region, especially in the agricultural sector. It was also reported that the German company Lamer conducted a study on Sudan and found that water, land, and infrastructure were suitable and very rich for agriculture. He mentioned that the suitable environment for agricultural investment is available for all projects carried out by the Arab Organization for Agricultural Development and the Union of Arab Scientific Research Councils.
In his speech, H.E Prof Ibrahim Adam El Dukheri welcomed the guests and added that the organization views the initiative as one of the pillars of the Arab Emergency Food Security Program and believes that its main objective is to contribute effectively to reducing the Arab food gap and enhancing the food security situation in the Arab region by investing in the sustainable exploitation of Agriculture and Fisheries resources in Sudan. He added that Sudan is characterized by large areas for establishing projects, and it is necessary to focus on exporting and planting the crops which Sudan is known for. He stressed that AOAD has developed many practical programs, including the Arab sustainable agricultural development strategy for the coming two decades and the emergency program for Arab food security implemented by the Arab region based on the various decisions of the Arab summits.
HE Dr. Mubarak Mohamed Ali Majzoub, Secretary-General of the Union of Arab Scientific Research Councils, said that the Union is an organization that coordinates joint Arab action in the field of scientific research and exchange of experiences between Arab research bodies and centers. He added that targeted agricultural policies should be developed and farmers should be encouraged to develop agricultural means. The Union has been holding an annual prize under the name of "Union of Arab Scientific Research Councils Award" in recognition of the need to pay attention to researchers and supporting them to invest in the results of their research,
In his speech, HE Mohamed bin Obaid Al Mazrouei, Chairman of the Arab Authority for Agricultural Investment and Development, thanked the Government of Sudan for facilitating the work of the Authority in Sudan and for invitation to sponsor the Scientific Research Award. He also pointed out that the Arab countries import from the outside as a result of the food gap, while it can cover its’ needs and meet the needs of the outside world. He added that agricultural methods should be developed and irrigation methods should be expanded. He said also that there should be more coordination between Arab agricultural institutions.
Mr. Abdelkader Mohamed Hassan, Secretary-General of the National Commission for Education, Science and Culture addressed the audience on behalf of the Director-General of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO). He mentioned that Food security was one of the greatest challenges at the global level. Adding that this initiative is in line with the SDGs of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), especially the goals related to combating poverty and developing the agricultural sector.
It is worth mentioning that the General Secretariat of the Union of Arab Scientific Research Councils has distributed the Prizes for Outstanding Scientific Researches for the year 2017 in the field of agriculture. The first prize was for Dr. Wafaa Mohamed El Sayed Ali Haggag from the Agricultural and Biological Research Division of the National Research Center in Egypt. The second prize was for Dr. Sadreddin Mokhtar Qalal from the National Institute of Agricultural Sciences in Tunisia. The third prize was for Dr. Intisar Mohamed El Jabbawi from the General Assembly For agricultural scientific research in the Syria.
The Union of Arab Scientific Research Councils presented a certificate of appreciation and thanks to the Arab Authority for Agricultural Investment and Development.
The organizers of the workshop presented a shield to HE Dr. Mohammed Othman
Al-Rikabi, Sudanese Minister of Finance and Economic Planning.
The workshop was attended by university professors, research and development centers, ministries of agriculture and human resources, labor force, relevant Arab organizations and bodies and Arab finance institutions.