At the opening of the second day of the 8th Ministerial Conference on Food Security and Agricultural Development (MCFSAD), taking place in Istanbul, Republic of Turkey, His Excellency the Director General of the Islamic Organization for Food Security (IOFS), Mr. Yerlan A. Baidaulet, addressed the audience in a well-acclaimed presentation on the establishment of OIC Food Security Reserves, which garnered enough interest and support from the participating Member States.

The Director General also addressed the side event hosted by Turkey on “Sharing Experiences and Knowledge for the Improvement of Food Systems in the OIC Region, towards the Achievement of SDGs by 2030”, where he shared a stage with representatives of Bangladesh and Turkey, OIC General Secretariat, COMCEC, IFAD, and FAO. In his remarks, Mr. Baidaulet highlighted that the IOFS, in its programs, offers and recommends stakeholders to focus on the following six success factors: capacity building, governance, finance, data and monitoring, policy coherence, and cooperation and partnership for the implementation of the SDGs, and underscored the importance of the Inter-Regional Food Systems bridge based on South-South Cooperation.

On the sidelines of the Conference, a Memorandum of Understanding on Bilateral Cooperation was signed on 26 October 2021 between Their Excellencies the Mozambican Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Olegário dos Anjos Banze, and  the IOFS Director General.

The salient feature of the signed MoU is the commitment on establishing of public-private partnerships for the development of agricultural sector in Mozambique with emphasis on projects related to commercial agriculture, as well some strategic commodities for Mozambique, including almonds, oil-seeds, cashew nuts, sunflower, etc.

The MoU under reference is to be implemented through a Joint Plan of Action to be prepared and finalized during a visit of an IOFS Senior Official to Maputo in early November 2021 to have in person consultations with relevant Departments at the Ministry of Agriculture and Institutions, including the National Council on Food Security and Nutrition.

Seizing the opportunity of the presence of a number of Ministers from different Member States and as part of the sustainable institutional growth of the IOFS, its Director General held bilateral meetings with some Member States of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) that are yet to be full-fledged IOFS Members.

The aforementioned meetings included with Her Excellency Ms. Mayanan Kamougue née Déné-Assoum, Minister of Agricultural Development of Republic of Chad, His Excellency Biendi Maganga-Moussavou, Minister of Agriculture of the Gabonese Republic,  His Excellency Dr. Ahmed Nasser Al-Bakri, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Sultanate of Oman, Her Excellency Ms. Ermira Gjeci, Vice-Minister of Agriculture & Rural Development of the Republic of Albania.

Also the Director General during the Gala Dinner met HE Dr.Bekir Pakdemirli, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry of Turkey, HE Sulaymon Ziyozoda Rizoi, Minister of Agriculture of Tajikistan, and Mr.Vladimir Rakhmanov, Regional Director, FAO.

The interlocutors of the IOFS Director General were unanimous in showing their interest for working towards joining the IOFS in near future so as to ensure that they actively participate in the implementation of diverse IOFS programmes included in the IOFS Strategic Vision 2031 in their respective countries.

The participation of IOFS will be finalized on 27 October 2021 when its Delegation attends the Ministerial Session, which is expected to adopt all relevant documents that were considered and approved by the Senior Officials Meeting.

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