publish date 2022-09-24 21:17:58
A meeting of the agriculture ministers of Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq will be held in Amman on Sunday, under the auspices of Prime Minister Bishr Al-Khasawneh, amid food supply challenges facing the region left by the war in Ukraine and the Corona pandemic.
This is the second meeting of Arab ministers after their first meeting in Beirut at the end of last July.
The Minister of Agriculture, Khaled Al-Hanaifat, said at the time that the Arab region was “affected by health closures and wars in which it was not a party, and the Corona crisis and the Russian-Ukrainian crisis witnessed restrictions on food trade and movement, disruption of logistics services, agricultural and food supply chains, and the availability of food in the markets.”
He added, “We suffered from the high costs of sea freight and the significant increase in the prices of grains, fertilizers and energy prices, and the signs of the food crisis were evident, and this prompted us to expedite the development of joint solutions that mitigate the negative effects and help governments and peoples to adapt.”
The two-day meeting in Amman is expected to focus on food security in the region, with the attendance of representatives from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations “FAO” and the World Bank.
The meeting will discuss with participating international organizations, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, food security and the possibility of Jordan becoming a “regional and strategic food security observatory with the aim of reducing the effects of crises and shocks and their impact on the countries of the region and taking advantage of the Kingdom’s comparative advantages to serve the countries of the region and laying the foundations for broader and sustainable cooperation and the provision of infrastructure for stocks.” emergencies for regional and international relief organisations.
The meeting will also discuss climate change in addition to the flow of agricultural commodities and investment prospects in the agricultural sector.
Meanwhile, the agricultural ministers will discuss during their meeting, “issues related to agricultural trade exchange and facilitating the flow of agricultural commodities between the participating countries,” in addition to “agricultural technical issues and the possibility of developing technical cooperation for the agricultural, plant and animal sectors, agricultural extension, and the exchange of competencies to build capacity for workers and technicians in these countries.”
The ministers will also discuss “raising the level of food security for the participating countries through food integration,” as well as “unified measures to confront the challenges of the persistent shortage of water resources, the spread of epidemics and desert locusts ….”
The meeting will discuss “encouraging investment and trade exchange between the participating countries.”
The meeting also includes discussing procedures for facilitating the exchange and registration of fertilizers, pesticides, medicines, veterinary vaccines, improved seeds and seeds, and plant and animal production inputs, taking into account the specificity of the participating countries and their instructions.
And discussing the possibility of unifying an agricultural calendar among the participating countries to facilitate and clarify trade exchange operations between the participating countries.
The participating countries are expected to sign a memorandum of understanding in the agricultural field.
King Abdullah II stressed in several meetings that “Jordan’s strategic location qualifies it to serve as a regional center for food.”
He said during his participation in the international “Borlaug” dialogue, organized by the World Food Prize Foundation for the year 2020, that “cooperation is the basis of regional and global action, and the Jordanians have always stood by the people in the region and provided support to them; Our strategic location, at the meeting point of Africa, Asia and Europe, enables Jordan to facilitate and coordinate international action, in addition to its potential to act as a regional food hub, accelerating and strengthening the global response to food crises and disasters.”
The United Nations supports the idea of establishing a regional center for food security in Jordan.
Last August, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Nasser Al-Shraideh, spoke about the ministry’s reaching preliminary agreements with international organizations on appropriate financing terms, amounting to $430 million for a project to enhance food security.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development said, earlier, that it is studying financing a Jordanian project to support the emergency response to food security, with a value of 130 million dollars.
On August 29, Jordan launched the National Food Security Strategy 2021-2030 and its implementation plan for the years 2022-2024, which is the first strategy prepared for food security in the Kingdom, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.
The strategy comes in implementation of the directives of King Abdullah II to declare 2021 years of food security and for Jordan to be a regional center for food security.
Jordan imports food worth about $4 billion annually, part of which is raw materials for industry, and the other is ready for consumption, according to the Jordan Chamber of Commerce.
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Source : اخبار الاردن