The agriculture ministers of Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Syria on Monday agreed to support the Kingdom's initiative to host the regional observatory for food security, in order to participate in constructing policies that provide successful emergency solutions to food security issues.

In the final communiqué of the quadripartite meeting, announced by Agriculture Minister Khalid Hneifat during a press conference, the ministers approved a proposal by the World Food Programme to conduct a study on the possibility of establishing a regional centre for food security in Jordan, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

The ministers agreed on the importance of increasing food security and enhancing integration due to current global changes, expectations of increased demand for food, price hikes and food-producing and food-importing countries’ plans to increase strategic reserves.

Hneifat stressed the willingness of the participating countries to enhance commercial exchange, facilitate the flow of agricultural produce, prepare plans to develop technical cooperation in the agriculture sector, exchange expertise and build agricultural workers’ capacity.

According to the communiqué, the ministers of agriculture welcomed a proposal to establish partnerships in agricultural marketing, supporting the efforts of the Jordanian-Palestinian Agricultural Marketing Company to promote the exchange of agricultural goods.

The proposal also planned to develop contracts and move towards non-traditional agriculture.

They also agreed to cooperate on the creation of an agricultural calendar that reflects yield and production dates to further agricultural integration among all parties.

The ministers decided to facilitate trade movements among the participating countries, also planning to develop infrastructure, encourage investments and provide an environment that enhances product availability and boosts food industry efficiency.

The ministers also called to increase coordination to face all climate change-related challenges, water scarcity, and the spread of epidemics.

In addition to Hneifat, the meeting featured the participation of Syrian Agriculture Minister Muhammad Qatna, Iraqi Agriculture Minister Muhammad Khafaji and Lebanese Agriculture Minister Abbas Hajj Hassan.

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