Ambassador Dr. Mohammad Nafees Zakaria, Executive Director COMSATS attended a panel discussion on “Enhancing Agricultural Food Production through Emerging Technologies” as a Panelist on October 2, 2023, which was held as part of the 2nd High Level Forum on Food Security, organized by the Islamic Organization for Food Security (IOFS) from October 1–3, in Doha, Qatar.
The forum, which was organized by the Ministry of Municipality in partnership with IOFS, has more than 100 attendees, more than 60 speakers from food, agriculture, science and technology institutions, academia, inter-governmental agencies particularly form the Member Countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
The event was also graced with the remarks and the statements given by H.E. Mr. Hissein Brahim Taha, Secretary-General of OIC; H.E. Mr. Aydarbek Saparov, Minister of Agriculture of the Republic of Kazakhstan; H.E. Mr. Abdelmonem Belati, Minister of Agriculture of the Republic of Kazakhstan and H.E. Mr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Subaie, Minister for Municipality of the State of Qatar.
Considering the significance of accessible, affordable and the nutritional food for everyone and everywhere, Dr. Zakaria lauded the effort of IOFS for organizing such a significant forum to hold in-depth discussions and possible sustainable ways to address the spurring challenges of food insecurity around the world amid the existing socio-economic, and environmental crises.
He apprised the participants that according to the Global Report on Food Crises (GRFC) published in 2023, over a quarter of a billion people require urgent food assistance in 2022 in 58 countries, which are experiencing food crisis. Speaking at the event, Dr. Zakaria further emphasized the close connection between new technology, creative ideas, cutting-edge machinery, and government policy actions to successfully address the problem of global food security. In addition, he stressed upon the necessity of making and then mobilizing investments concurrent with the farmers’ capacity-development, which will ultimately boost the nation’s economy.
He further focused on the value of cross-sectoral collaborations and emphasized the ability of intergovernmental organizations to address the grave problem of food insecurity through South-South and triangular cooperation.
In his talk, he specifically highlighted the significance of cross-sectorial partnerships and stressed upon the role of the potential of Intergovernmental Organizations through South-South and Triangular Cooperation to tackle the alarming issues of food insecurity. In addition, Dr. Zakaria also praised the COMSATS-IOFS partnership and informed the attendees about the MoU that was signed between the two organizations in the most recent year, 2022, which symbolizes their sincere commitment and set them both on a course for capacity building, knowledge exchange, and the implementation of projects, aimed at addressing food security in their common member states. In his final remarks, he gave the audience an overview of the work being done in this area by COMSATS through its special initiative, the COMSATS Centre for Climate and Sustainability (CCCS), and expressed his sincere hope that everyone would work together to find sustainable solutions for a world free from hunger and poverty.
For the same Session, COMSATS also facilitated participation of its two representatives, Dr. Majid Javanmard, Vice President, Industrial Relations & Commercialization, Iranian Research Organization for Science and Technology (IROST), Iran, and Mr. Minhaj Khokhar, CEO of PK2100, Agri-Technology and Business Advisor.