By MUHAMMED S. BAH
The National Assembly on Tuesday, 4 October 2016, ratified the motion on Statute Islamic Organisation for Food Security (IOFS) which was tabled Mr. Ismaila Sanyang, the Minister of Agriculture.
Mr. Sanyang told the deputies that the OIC Council of Foreign affairs Ministers approved the Statute in December 2013, during its 40th Session held in Conakry republic of Guinea as a specialised institution as defined by Article 24 of the OIC charter.
“The statute seeks to address the major food security problems, widespread poverty, growing population, food shortage, desertification, deforestation, salinity and under -utilisation of existing potential and thereby creating a collective platform to promote food security and agricultural development in a sustainable manner through the mobilisation of all available resources within their countries, exchange of best practices and experiences, promotion of investment and transfer of appropriate technologies,” said the agriculture minister.
He noted that every member state of the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperative (OIC) may become a member upon signing the Statute, adding that the Gambia was among the first nineteen members of the OIC that signed it. He said the headquarters is located at Astana, Republic of Kazakhstan.
On the objectives, Mr. Sanyang said the IOFS seeks to provide expertise and technical know-how to member states on the various aspects of sustainable agriculture, rural development, food security, biotechnology, including addressing the problems posed by desertification, deforestation, erosion and salinity as well as providing social safety nets.
He also highlighted the organs of the organisation which, he said, comprises the General Assembly, the Executive Board and the Secretariat.
Mr. Sanyang noted that the financial resources of the organisation come from the annual assessed contributions received from member states as approved by the General Assembly.
“Donation and voluntary contributions from the member states, non-member states, institutions and partners, provided that donations from all external sources are not incompatible with the objectives and regulations of the organisations,” he remarked.
The motion was seconded by Hon. Njie Darboe, National Assembly Member for Jarra West and was ratified by the law makers.