On January 25, 2021, Director of Programs and Project Office of IOFS Dr. Ismail Abdelhamid met with ICARDA Director General H.E. Aly Abousabaa, Deputy Director-General Dr. Jacques Wery and Acting Regional Coordinator Dr. Aladdin Hamwieh. At the beginning of the meeting, Dr. Abdelhamid expressed the greetings of H.E. Yerlan Baidaulet, Director-General of IOFS and appreciation to ICARDA for its active participation at the Third General Assembly of IOFS on December 2-3, 2020.

During the discussion, Dr. Abdelhamid briefly introduced the 16 programs of IOFS, in particular, the Centers of Excellence for Strategic Commodities: Wheat, Rice, Cassava and Palm Oil. These centres would conduct and coordinate training and research programmes among the member states to enhance regional ties in their respective region’s activities. The Centers of Excellence will cover the development of livestock and give special attention to the rural extension. Other programs like the Development of Gene Banks, Water Management for Agriculture and Transboundary Pest Control Management were discussed too.

Director-General of ICARDA extended his greetings to Director-General of IOFS and stressed the concept of one CGIAR to address the global challenges; he stated that ICARDA fully supports cooperation with IOFS within the same areas of interest. Dr. Jacques Wery, Deputy Director-General explained both integrated and systemic approaches; one deals with strategic commodities and the latter on works on synergies between different communities at the farm, regional, and country levels. Deputy Director-General of ICARDA marked the importance of the DryArc initiative that is being developed with other CGIAR centres as a global framework for sustainable transformation of agri-food systems in the drylands.

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