Today, on April 30, representatives of IOFS led by Director-General Mr Yerlan Baidaulet held a meeting with the Minister of Agriculture Mr Saparkhan Omarov. The meeting was very productive and held as agreed before. Both sides reviewed efforts aimed to support the agricultural industry in Kazakhstan within the regional framework and prevent possible risks and socio-economic consequences of the pandemic. Such measures as emergency food aid, export incentives and socio-economic palliatives, were discussed within the “ADDRESSING FOOD SECURITY CRISIS IN THE WAKE OF COVID-19 PANDEMIC” Memorandum issued by IOFS on April 6, 2020.
The parties focused on the participation of IOFS in the establishment of the National Food Security Commission and the early launch of the Regional Food Reserves, the Grain Fund and its funding sources. Furthermore, the meeting participants raised issues of providing humanitarian food aid to less-developed IOFS member countries like Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan.
The Director-General expressed his gratitude to the Government of Kazakhstan, represented by the Ministry of Agriculture, for endorsing all strategic programs and initiatives of IOFS. In addition, IOFS praised the first payment of mandatory contribution by the Host Government and is expecting the same support from other 33 member countries.
It is important to note that right after the meeting with the Minister of Agriculture, the meeting continued with the Vice Minister Mr Nurbek Dairbekov. The parties agreed on an action plan to build a mechanism for regional Food Reserves of the OIC countries and the concept of the Grain Fund. Also, parties discussed structuring the state food system and the development of the local segment of IFPA as a B2B mechanism to address post-harvest losses through increased collaboration within the downstream food supply sub-sector. Moreover, the parties spoke about the possibility of signing an agreement on a technical assistance grant and participation of the Ministry in the upcoming official events of IOFS.
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