A Food-Secure Arab World

February 27, 2012 at 9:38 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Food Secure Arab World Conference, Beirut, Lebanon, 6-7 February

Dr Solh drew from ICARDA’s experience to highlight research and investment priorities for the region

How to ensure food security and drive technological change in agriculture for the Middle East and North Africa? The Beirut conference discussed the challenges facing governments, researchers and development agencies. While much of the discussion focused on a “roadmap” for future food policy and research priorities, ICARDA offered practical perspectives, and examples of how new technologies are being delivered to farmers.

ICARDA Director General Dr Mahmoud Solh focused delegates’ attention beyond macro-economic and geopolitical policy horizons, encouraging them to consider the practical aspects of food production and the empowerment of rural communities. He gave a number of examples to illustrate what could be done to make the Arab region food-secure. The priorities include: long-term investment in research, intensification and diversification of farming systems, and more effective extension programs. All this, as he explained, will require even stronger partnerships between national and international research centers, and between researchers, policy makers and extension agents. The conference was organized by the International Food Policy Research Institute and the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia.

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