Crop Biotech Update

African, Arab Ministers Meet on Action Plan to Improve Agricultural Productivity

February 19, 2010

African and Arab Ministers met in Sharme El Sheikh, Egypt to discuss a Joint Action Plan that sets the terms for their collaboration in agriculture and food security. Earlier, preliminary talks were made by experts from the two regions at the same venue.

Addressing the opening ceremony of the Joint Afro Arab Ministerial Meeting on Agricultural Development and Food Security, Egyptian Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation Amin Abaza said that it is imperative for the African Union (AU) and the League of Arab States (LAS) to increase their cooperation. He urged greater collaboration to overcome challenges and increase food security. Mr. Abaza said the Ministerial meeting aimed to create a partnership to promote food security; and seek ways to achieve best use of land resources through cooperation. He encouraged the two regions to have private sector driven projects, to attract investors to work with the private sector, to cooperate in the management of water; promote small holder farmers; build human and financial capacity; and to exchange experiences.

African Union Commissioner for Political Affairs Julia Dolly Joiner added that "We are bound by our geographic proximity and historical, linguistic, religious and cultural ties, and are also living witnesses to an era when there is ever increasing interactions between our two peoples", she said.

See Africa Union's press release at http://www.africa-union.org/root/au/index/index.htm