Date: 21 Oct, 2020
Location: Virtual Webinar
The Arab Voluntary Union and the Good Word Society in cooperation with the Arab Authority for Agricultural Investment and Development, the Arab Federation for Food Industries, the Arab Agricultural Engineers Union and the Arab African Center for Investment and Development (CAAID), organized the Arab symposium on the reality of food security in the Arab world, which came under the title of Applied Mechanisms Contributing to Raising the Level of Arab Awareness on Food Security, whereby, the event took place on October 21, 2020.
During the symposium, His Excellency Mohammed bin Obaid Al Mazrooei, President of AAAID presented a working paper under the title “The Arab Authority’s Efforts in the Advancement and Development of Small Scale Farmers and Women Farmers in Arab Countries”, in which HE introduced the Arab Authority’s work, mission, objectives and affiliate companies, as well as the sectoral and geographical distribution of AAAID’s agricultural investments. Further explaining the Arab Authority’s efforts in developing small and medium scale farmers, indicating that AAAID has realized the great role that this sector plays in providing commodities and food products, where AAAID has implemented an integrated program to increase their contributions to enhancing Arab food security. The program included a package of integrated processes, including encouraging the farmers to form associations and cooperatives to benefit from the services of the program, providing financing through purchasing all the requirements of the agricultural process until the harvest stage, and cooperating with research centers to provide extension awareness to farmers, applying modern agricultural technologies, linking small farmers with agricultural insurance institutions, as well as supporting women farmers by ensuring their access to finance that is compatible with their capabilities.
H.E also stated that the results from the implementation of the integrated program for small farmers show that the number of beneficiaries reached about 151 thousand beneficiaries in the Arab countries as of December 2019. The cultivated areas increased to 51 thousand feddans, the productivity of crops exceeded 150%, and direct and indirect employment opportunities and temporary employment were provided in the targeted areas, leading to notable returns for farmers and improving their standard of living. H.E President Al Mazrooei also added that AAAID has given the rural women farmers sector special focus in Arab countries due to its importance as a productive economic sector in addition to its social role within the family. The number of beneficiaries of the program during the period 2013 -2019 reached about 2,812 women beneficiaries, where results demonstrated women’s eagerness and commitment to work and repay with great effectiveness.
In conclusion, H.E recommended the need to pay attention to the development of the small scale farmers and producers’ sector by providing and sustaining support for this sector. In addition to stressing the importance of building technical, financial and administrative capacities for small farmers and producers, especially youth and rural women, and calling on companies and insurance institutions to provide insurance services for this segment on easy terms that take into account the agricultural conditions of the region, particularly, rain fed areas.
The symposium intended to contribute to raising awareness among the community of the importance of food security in general and encouraging the community to take measures to confront crises and combat hunger, and reduce malnutrition, disease and poverty rates. As well as to create recommendations and action mechanisms that assist in the implementation and contribution to achieving food security.