Doha: The Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), H.E. Mr. Hissein Brahim Taha, stressed that work is underway to develop a strategic plan to ensure food security in the OIC Member States, with the aim of building synergies with the existing national strategies as well as mobilizing OIC-wide resources and capacities for sustainable agricultural and rural development and enhanced food security.

This was part of the Secretary-General’s speech delivered today, October 2, 2023, at the opening session of the 9th OIC Ministerial Conference on Food Security and Agricultural Development, hosted by the State of Qatar in the capital, Doha, under the theme: “Towards Achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals in the OIC Member States”. The meeting was chaired by H.E. Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Subaie, Minister of Municipality of the State of Qatar, and attended by the Ministers in charge of Agriculture and Food Security from the OIC Member States. 

The Secretary-General pointed out that 23 OIC Member States are still among the 44 low-income countries in the world that suffer from food deficits. Most of these countries are located in sub-Saharan Africa and in the arid regions of West Asia and Northeast Africa. He stressed that the Sustainable Development Goals, including poverty and hunger elimination, cannot be achieved without serious and direct attention given to the development of agricultural and food systems, especially in the least developed OIC countries.
The Secretary-General noted that the OIC Member States have many opportunities for mutual cooperation in this vital sector. Collectively, they possess sufficient arable land, resources, and technologies to support themselves. He called for establishing partnership arrangements between countries with arable lands and natural agricultural endowments and those that possess funds and technologies, in order to address the chronic lack of investment in agriculture and food security, as well as for building national capacities in this vital sector.