"The Sudanese government will sponsor joint Arab investments and support it and we shall remove all obstacles and difficulties for achieving such objective," said Sudan's First Vice President Ali Osman Mohammed Taha.
The second Investment Conference on Agricultural Investment and Achievement of Arab Food Security began Monday at the Friendship Hall, in the presence of the First Vice President, Ali Osman Mohamed Taha, the General Director of the Arab Authority for Agricultural Investment and Development and a number of Ministers and concerned organizations.
The conference discussed two working papers on the private Sector's vision for reinforcement of the Arab food security and the experience of the Arab Authority for Agricultural Investment and Development in implementing food security projects in Sudan.
The conference reviewed the experience of Al-Rajihi International Group in Sudan and Al-Kharif Investment Company in the field of food production as well as the National Company for Agricultural Production in Sudan.
The conference affirmed the importance of the Infrastructures for success of projects of agricultural production based on the experience of the Sudan Green Agricultural Campaign and the Moroccan Sugar and Refining Company (Cosumar) in boosting joint Arab Food Security.
The conference also discussed the available investment opportunities at the agricultural sector in Sudan as well as the Investment atmosphere in Sudan.
Sudan Vision | 19 December 2011
Taha Affirms Government Commitment to Implement Arab Food Security Strategy
By Shadia Basheri
Khartoum - The Presidency has affirmed government commitment to play its role in the implementation of Arab food security strategy and coordinate efforts for utilizing all financing initiatives for entering into partnerships that achieve Arab food security.
In addressing the Second Investment meeting of the Arab Authority for Agricultural Investment and Development (AAAID) held yesterday in conjunction with the government of Sudan, First Vice President Ali Osman Mohammed Taha, called on Arab countries to give more attention to food security in Arab world.
He said the Sudanese government has introduced strategies for providing the appropriate environment and supervision of these investments in Sudan.
"The Sudanese government will sponsor joint Arab investments and support it and we shall remove all obstacles and difficulties for achieving such objective," Taha said.
He said the forum is one of the means to raise awareness of the extreme importance of Arab food security and called on Arab to invest on food security projects in Sudan.
For his part, chairman of the Arab Authority for Agricultural Investment and Development, Ali Bin Saeed Al Sharhan, said Arab countries will work to increase volume of Arab investments in Sudan.
He added it is important that smaller companies are supported and farmers living conditions improved.
"By this meeting, we seek to explore the means of achieving self-sufficiency and production quality in the Arab agricultural products for achieving an integrated food security policy for all Arab countries," he said.
He said the current state of affairs of agriculture in the Arab counties has led to deterioration of the capability of the Arabs to produce their essential food commodities to the extent that annual Arab food import bill has risen to about $37 billion.
"It is an indicator that should prompt us to intensify our efforts through professional and scientific thinking," he said
He added Arab investments on agriculture production represent now nine percent of all Arab investments on other areas which is a "very weak rate".
The AAAID's chairman called on those attending the meeting to come out with strong recommendations that give priority to the Arab agricultural and draw a "map for achieving such endeavor".
"We must strongly encourage investments, remove barriers that stand in the way of transfer of Arab capitals and introduce smooth procedures for boosting investments," he said.
In the same context, the Arab Development Funds' representative has said the deficit in Arab commerce and agriculture balance of payment increased from $23 billion in 2000 to $46 billion in 2009.
"Arab countries rely on Sudan for achieving their food security," he said.
He added that Arab agricultural researches receive only 0.3 percent of our income and hence all the elements of integration between Arab countries should be employed and our agricultural polices drastically changed.
For his part, the secretary general of the Sudanese Businessmen & Employers Union, (SBEU), Bakri Yousif, said warnings coming from all parts of the world indicate that the world, including Arab countries, will face tremendous difficulties during the few coming years with respect to food commodities availability.
He called for the endorsement of new joint Arab national agricultural policies that target the enhancement of Arab countries' capabilities to meet its food commodities needs.
On the other hand, Yousif announced that SBEU has put forward a national initiative from Sudan whereby the year 2012 will be considered as the year of mobilizing Arab countries governments and private sectors capabilities for achieving food security in the Arab world.