04 ноября 2014 21:27

Kazakhstan's Majilis ratifies Charter of Islamic Organization for Food Security


©Turar Kazangapov ©Turar Kazangapov

azakh Majilis, the lower chamber of Kazakhstan’s Parliament, has ratified the Charter of Islamic Organization for Food Security (IOFS), a subsidiary of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (IOC), Tengrinews reports.

azakh Majilis, the lower chamber of Kazakhstan’s Parliament, has ratified the Charter of Islamic Organization for Food Security (IOFS), a subsidiary of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (IOC), Tengrinews reports.

19 member states of the IOFS signed the Charter at the 40th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers that was held in Conakry, Guinea on December 9-11, 2013. With a minimum threshold of 10 member states, the organization will start its work after the Parliaments of the member states approve the Charter.

The IOFS will have the status of an international organization. Its main goals are to provide expertise on different aspects of effective agriculture and biotechnology development as well as solutions to the problems caused by desertification, deforestation, soil erosion and salinization. The organization will also assist its member states in assessment and monitoring of the situation in the realm of food security to identify problems and provide necessary emergency and humanitarian assistances through creation of food reserves.

Food security means creating the conditions where all the people at any time have physical, social, economic and financial access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food products to satisfy their needs and preferences in food for active and healthy lifestyle.

The structure of organization considers the interests of all the parties. Key decisions will be made at annual sessions of the General Assembly, the supreme governing body of the IOFS that will consist of the agriculture ministers or other representatives of the member countries. The chairman of the General Assembly will be a session’s host country.

Executive Council of the IOFS will be responsible for controlling and monitoring the implementation of decisions made by the General Assembly. It will include representatives of eight member-countries elected by the General Assembly for three years that will meet at least twice a year. Since organization’s headquarters are located in Kazakhstan, Kazakhstan will have a permanent seat on the Executive Council.

The IOFS Secretariat is a permanent executive body that will ensure the organization's operation.

Funding of the organization’s activities will be generated from annual mandatory contributions of member states, voluntary contributions and donations from other countries and organizations, proceeds from products and services rendered. Kazakhstan’s Government will allocate 145 million tenge (nearly $802 thousand) in 2015 for three years of the IOFS operation.

Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev initiated the establishment of the IOFS back in 2011. “On June 28, 2011, during the 38th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the IOC, the head of the country proposed to establish a system of mutual food aid within the framework of the organization (OIC),” Kazakhstan’s Minister of Agriculture Asylzhan Mamytbekov said when presenting the draft law. Kazakhstan's proposal was supported by all the member states of the OIC. 

The new institution will help strengthen Kazakhstan's position as an international food hub. The IOFS will allow Kazakhstan to export its grain and other food products to the member states of the IOC. “To purchase grain when there is little demand and a large supply in Kazakhstan and then to sell it when the prices are rising is beneficial both for us and for the countries that receive these products,” Asylzhan Mamytbekov said.

He noted that there was a very big volatility the grain’s market both in prices and volumes of production. “When the volume rises (as in 2011), the price plummets. When there is a draught and the harvest is not so big, we witness a huge increase in the prices. In order to stabilize this market, at the years when there are large amounts of grain, we need to buy this excess of grain and to store it somewhere. Then through trade intervention we will be able to stabilize the market including the domestic one and to decrease the demand in our export markets (during draught years),” Kazakh Agriculture Minister said adding that the necessary storage places would be built at the expense of the organization.

By Assel Satubaldina

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