On June 9, 2022 Islamic Organization for Food security concluded two-day Food security Forum. The High-level Forum attracts ministers, decision-makers, opinion-leaders, leading scientific experts and participants of agro-industrial sectors to discuss a wide range of issues in nutrition and Food Safety correlation.
The second day of the session under the name of Youth and Food Security was primarily dedicated to the generating of youth empowerment for alleviating food insecurity, increasing youth engagement in agriculture to enable access to land, finance, and skills, world-class technological infrastructure and high-quality services and goods in the sector of agri food among OIC member countries. Following the awarding procedure, 10 member-states representatives of Pakistan, Egypt, Chad, Nigeria, Mauritania, Mozambique, Bangladesh and Afghanistan nominated to the COMSTECH-IOFS Fellowship for Research and Training in Food Security research.
The session was represented by , KazNARU Director of the Department of International Cooperation Mr. Yesbol Omirzhanov where he provided overview of fellowship programs of the University, whereas Acting Director General, International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) Dr. Tarifa Al Zaabi focused on the role of education, women, and youth in food security. Speaking at the youth and food security session, Dr. Tarifa Alzaabi presented about the importance of harnessing youth’s potential for food security and presented examples of youth-centric programs and initiatives led by ICBA, including the Youth Engagement Society. The Director General of ICBA highlighted that young people should be the driving force behind agri-innovations, but their great potential remains largely untapped in many countries, investing more in youth and empowering them is key to future food security.
Program Manager-Training and Community Development, Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) Dr. Anthony Egeru discussed about young African Entrepreneurs Competition, while Research Assistant, Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, American University of Beirut Mr. Abed Al Kareem Yehya highlighted about importance of Food Security Graduate Diploma – for working professionals and future leaders on areas of food security, agricultural production, nutrition security, and public policy and development programming.
During the speech IOFS Director General HE Yerlan A. Baidaulet expressed his appreciation for lively and stimulating presentations and discussions in the food security area and highlighted that it is a great privilege and an honour to be entrusted with such an eminent people from different parts of the world to summarize the two-days important gathering deliberated extensively on a number of important issues on food security.
The IOFS High Level Forum was successfully concluded by adopting the Almaty Declaration. Government officials of Member States of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), representatives of OIC institutions, academia, international organizations and private sector reaffirmed commitment to the objectives of the IOFS, and support for its initiatives in the areas of food security and agricultural development, proposed inclusion of food security education programs in the curriculums at agrarian educational establishments in different OIC Member States, while developing the well-being of small-scale farmers and the economic growth of their respective countries via their extension capacity, which may be beneficial and contribute directly to improve the food and nutrition security indicators, and encourage, in this context, governments to emphasize the role of universities and support their extension activities.