Worried over food security, Islamic nations seek ways to boost local agriculture

Islamic nations, increasingly worried over their food security as imports rise, are planning to take concrete steps to increase investment in agriculture and develop local and regional markets.

Members of the Islamic Organization for Food Security (IOFS), an offshoot of the Organization of Islamic Nations (OIC), who met in the Kazakhstan capital of Astana recently, discussed ways to increase agriculture production by up to 70 percent.

According to data, food trade deficit in OIC member countries rose to $79 billion in 2014 from $16 billion in 2000. At the same time, the number of malnourished citizens reached 166 million, or nearly 21 percent of all malnourished people in the world.

Members discussed the need to invest in infrastructure to develop local and regional markets across the value chain for better access to locally produced food.

OIC members were asked to allocate at least six percent of their national budgets for agriculture development and food security.



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