FAO Regional Office for Near East and North Africa

FAO participates at the International Conference on Food Security, Agriculture Sustainability and Pulses in Oman

Ms. Magy Habib, FAO special ambassador for the IYP for the Near East and North Africa Region at the inaugural session

Muscat -  7 Dec 2016

Under the auspices of H.E. Dr. Fuad bin Jaafar bin Mohammed al Sajwani, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries of Oman, Muscat hosted a two-day International Conference on Food Security, Agriculture Sustainability and Pulses.

The conference was attended by senior government officials, researchers, experts and traders, and was marked by a message from FAO Representative in Oman, Ms. Nora Ourabah Haddad, and by the presence of FAO special ambassador for the International Year of Pulses in the Near East Ms. Magy Habib.

At the inaugural ceremony, H E Dr Sajwani said, “This conference comes in response to the United Nations declaration of 2016 as Year of Pulses, and Food and Agriculture Organization’s efforts to raise awareness on the importance of pulses as part of sustainable food production aimed towards food security and nutrition.”

 H E Dr Sajwani called for giving a fair attention to agro industrialisation, sustainable agriculture and the development of food industries.

 Ms. Nora Ourabah Haddad, delivered a video message to the audience, reminding them that “the IYP is a great opportunity to call the attention on the contribution of pulses to food and nutrition security as well as to alleviate hunger and rural poverty.”

She noted that: “This year has put the pulses on the table and triggered many positive discussions about their benefits as a critical source of plant-based proteins as well as an eco-friendly environmentally sustainable food choice.”

She said that: “Pulses have a crucial role in sustainable food production and healthy diets, and above all, for their contribution to food security and nutrition. These issues are at the cornerstone of FAO’s mandate; therefore it is not only our duty but also our primary responsibility to raise awareness of the benefits of pulses for humankind.”

FAO Representative in Oman urged “all stakeholders, including governments, farmers and their organizations, the private sector, civil society organizations, academia, researchers and other non-state actors to work together to promote pulses as a contribution to achieving food and nutrition security”, in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, especially SDG2 which calls for eradicating hunger.

 Ms. Magy Habib, FAO special ambassador for the IYP for the Near East and North Africa Region said that the pulses have always been part in our traditional and indigenous meals, revealing an intuitive human wisdom that will always be bewildering to rationalize as much as it is a pity to neglect.

She stressed that IYP was an opportunity to remind our people about the benefits of pulses and raise their awareness of its merits, encouraging them to be creative in using pulses with new recipes, and this should continue beyond 2016, as pulses are really the food for the future, and one of the most important tools to use throughout the UN decade of action on nutrition.