Orbits :Private Sector Role in Arab Food Security

The First Vice President Ali Osman Mohammed Taha will address today the opening session of the seminar entitled "Prospects of Arab Food Security and Role of the Private Sector" organized by Sudanese Businessmen & Employers Federation (SBEF) as part of the Arab Federation of Chambers of Commerce (AFCC) meetings.
A considerable number of experts and specialists on food security will participate in the seminar.
The seminar aims at addressing important topics and issues through discussing a number of working papers on the world food crisis and its impact on Arab countries.
 In addition, the seminar will also address the requirement of reforming and modernizing the system of Arab food security and the role of the private sector, in addition to manufacturing and marketing issues as well as the requirements for the enhancement of Arab agricultural exports.
The papers will also discuss the role of the private and banking sectors in achieving Arab food security in addition to food security project financing.
It goes without saying that the Arab world imports most of its requirements from non-Arab states a matter that makes its food security under a real threat.
Such threat leads to economic and political subjection to the foreign states.
We witness how decisions are dictated to some heads of states who comply with what he was dictated to do because the controlling tool represented by foodstuff shipments will not be released unless the requirements were fulfilled.
The Arab studies, since the sixties of last century, revealed that Sudan is the hope to achieve the Arab food security due to its enjoying huge resources of fertile lands and waters.
Even after south Sudan secession, the fertile lands and water resources remained in northern Sudan.
The question that poses itself, are we capable to receive the Arab investments in food security projects?
Theoretically we can say yes we are capable, but in practical reality there seems to be a major obstacle represented by the possession of land which requires transparent discussion to reach a reasonable decision to avoid any disputes in land registration and other related issues such as the historic pastures and tribal tenures.
The effort required is an administrative/organizational in the first place followed by a protective effort.
It is high time for the Council of Ministers to issue firm directives to the governors of the states to deal with the issue of lands, otherwise Sudan will miss the golden opportunity represented by the directives of the Custodian of the Two Holly Mosques and the Emir of Qatar to give top priority in investing in Sudan.


By Muawad Mustafa Rashid, 28/11/2011