February 20, 2013

Experts-discuss-challenges-of-agriculture-and-food-security-in-drylandsIn collaboration with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), the Global Dryland Alliance has organized an expert group meeting gathering over 100 experts and consultants in the areas of food and nutrition security, land and soil, water, and energy on the 18th-20th of February, 2013 at the IDB headquarters in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The group met to review and discuss current agri-food and nutrition security policies in the drylands; take stock of new and relevant technologies and best practices in designing solutions to dryland challenges; and discuss how GDA could support food security programs and initiatives at national and regional levels.

Four separate work groups were each assigned a major theme: food and nutrition security, land and soil, water, and energy. Participants discussed issues related to development financing for sustainable drylands, and selected technical papers on the challenges, opportunities, trends and current policies and strategies to address agriculture and food security in drylands. Discussions led to a series of concrete recommendations from each of the four groups to further food security policies in the dryland countries. The four groups then converged to share information, findings and recommendations, which were all compiled in a detailed report.

There was consensus among participants that there is a need for a global platform to facilitate cooperation among dryland countries and pool their resources, both in knowledge and finances, in order to tackle the mounting challenges to food security they face. The compiled recommendations from all groups were organized into four areas of focus where it was thought that GDA could make the biggest impact i.e. research and innovation, strategy and policy improvement, operations and financing.