FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia

North Macedonia develops country's first National Food Security Strategy

Setting the basis for developing an integrated whole-of-government National Food Security Strategy in North Macedonia will be the focus of a new FAO project.

The project was launched today through an event in Skopje, organized by FAO and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Economy in partnership with the Rural Development Network of North Macedonia.

In his opening remarks, Ljupco Nikolovski, North Macedonia’s Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Economy, noted that “at this time of global change, it is essential to ensure access to a safe, stable, affordable, and nutritious supply of food for everyone in North Macedonia” and “the Ministry of Agriculture is committed to support the whole process of National Food Security Strategy development, working with FAO, the Rural Development Network, the relevant government institutions, and other partners to reach this goal.”

Overall, the project aims to address the identified lack of food security strategic framework in North Macedonia by helping the Government to prepare the relevant background documents, studies, and analysis needed for development of the country’s first National Food Security Strategy. The project, carried out as part of FAO’s Regional Initiative on transforming food systems and facilitating market access and integration, is expected to be completed by mid-2023.

The lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequences continue to destabilize food markets and expose weaknesses in our food systems. The ongoing war in Ukraine has further compromised global food security, threatening the lives and livelihoods of people around the world, including in North Macedonia.

Food supply chains, both domestic and international, have been disrupted and are continuing to affect global grain, fertilizer, and energy prices. International food prices have risen to new heights, compounding the already heavy burden on global food security. In addition, the growing frequency and intensity of extreme climate events are continuing to be a major disrupter of supply chains and major driver of food insecurity.

Facing the challenges exacerbated by the recent COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukraine war to the domestic food security, the government has recognized the importance of having a National Food Security and Nutrition Strategy as a long-term roadmap of national priorities, actions, and resources needed to promote  the country’s agricultural production, enhance food availability, and improve the affordability of healthy diets for all people in North Macedonia, as well as making food systems sustainable and resilient to future crisis, which may affect the national food security.

At the project's launch, Cheng Fang, economist from FAO’s Regional office for Europe and the lead technical officer for the project, highlighted that “there is a clear need to secure a future-oriented perspective on food security for the Macedonian people, in the context of major global and regional challenges to food security, including the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukraine war.” He also thanked the Macedonian Government for giving a priority to the issue of food security in these critical times. “FAO, with its strengths and extensive expertise in sustainable development, is well positioned to support North Macedonia in capitalizing on agriculture as the most inclusive tool to ensure food security for all,” he added.

More specifically, in close cooperation with the Rural Development Network of North Macedonia, through a consultative and participatory process, FAO and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Economy will conduct the necessary collection of national food security and nutrition data, as well as a detailed analysis of relevant national policies, that will serve as the basis for outlining the future Food Security and Nutrition Strategy. 

In addition, an institutional survey will be conducted for developing a proposal to establish a dedicated and permanent inter-institutional national coordination mechanism as a major state body involving all concerned ministries and national agencies to be responsible for the strategic oversight of national food security and nutrition strategy, legislation, policies, and programmes.

30 June, Skopje, North Macedonia