The 8th OIC Ministerial Conference on Food Security and Agricultural Development was held on 25-27 October 2021, in Istanbul, with the theme of “Improvement of Food Systems for Ensuring Food Security in the OIC Member Countries”.

The Conference was attended by 24 Ministers and 14 Deputy Ministers and 8 Ambassadors from the OIC Member Countries, and representatives of 11 International/Regional Organizations. The Conference was chaired by H.E. Bekir PAKDEMİRLİ, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry of Turkey.

During the conference, important issues such as strengthening the agricultural sector in the context of the Covid-19 Pandemic, promoting rural development, preventing food waste, effective management of water resources were discussed. Moreover, progress related to the OIC Strategic Agricultural Products Action Plan and Food Security Reserves was also considered  during the deliberations.

COMCEC Coordination Office also participated in the Conference. A special panel titled “Sharing Experiences and Knowledge for Improvement of Food Systems in OIC Region, towards the Achievement of SDGs by 2030” was held as a side event of the Conference. The panel was attended by the representatives of Turkey, Bangladesh, OIC General Secretariat, FAO, IFAD, and IOFS and moderated by Mr. Fatih ÜNLÜ, Director General of the CCO.

During the panel, the importance of the following issues was specifically highlighted: increasing investments in the agricultural sector, enhancing Research and Development in the agriculture and food technologies alongwith higher resource allocation,  prevention of food waste, strengthening digital transformation in the sector and enhancing direct e-marketing opportunities for food producers, enhancing cooperation, solidarity, and sharing of knowledge and experiences among the member countries, increasing intra-OIC trade and investments in the agriculture sector and agro-products.

In the margins of the conference, the COMCEC Delegation had bilateral meetings with Dr. Hussain Rasheed HASSAN, Minister of Fisheries, Marine Resources and Agriculture of Maldives, and Dr. M. Iqbal CHOUDHARY, the COMSTECH Coordinator-General.

During the meeting with the Maldives Delegation, the COMCEC cooperation mechanisms and possible cooperation opportunities in the fisheries sector, which has a crucial place in the Maldives economy were discussed.

In the meeting held with the COMSTECH Coordinator-General, cooperation opportunities on the commercialization of technology and and organization of online trainings, workshops, and similar capacity-building activities related to the science – technology and production and trade nexus.