Qatar University President highlights region’s challenges on food security
Five hundred (500) delegates from around the world were welcomed by Qatar University (QU) President Prof Sheikha Abdulla Al Misnad to the international Food Security in Dry Lands (FSDL) conference which was hosted by QU on November 14-15.
Delegates included ambassadors, ministers, government officials, policy-makers, development experts, scholars, researchers and representatives from financial institutions, farmers’ associations and civil society organizations from throughout the world.
Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the conference was organised by Qatar National Food Security Programme (QNFSP) along with a consortium of national, regional and international partner institutions.
In her address, Prof Al Misnad highlighted the university’s commitment to being part of Qatar’s vision of improving its own food security, as enshrined in the National Development Strategy 2011-16 and the Qatar National Vision 2030. She said: “This is a highly significant issue for the whole world as well as the Arab region. Food security is a very important issue that plays a main role in the development of humanity. It needs a multi-party strategy to combat the current problems, including the limited access many poor people have to food.”
She added further: “In the Arab world the crisis is well-defined. We are one of the world’s regions most reliant on food imports. Considering the demographic shift, this crisis is all the more important. The negative impact necessitates dialogue in order to serve public interest.
At Qatar University we work with others to support QNFSP – this is playing a major role in decreasing the dependence on food imports. This is a vital issue for us all.”
The two-day event, which was held at locations throughout QU campus, aimed to shed light on current trends and strategies to boost food production and improve food security in dry lands countries. The conference covered three thematic areas: Food Security; Demand and Management of Water Resources; and Responsible Agricultural Investments. Some 30 conference papers, analytical studies and presentations were tabled throughout the various sessions.