The Inter Islamic Network on Information Technology (INIT), in collaboration with the Islamic Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) and the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS) organized 4th International Conference on ‘Agriculture, Food Security and Biotechnology’, on November 13 - 14, 2018 at Rabat, Kingdom of Morocco. The Conference aimed to provide an interactive platform to academicians, scientists and researchers to deliberate upon the burning issue of food insecurity while underpinning the significance of Agriculture, Food Security and Biotechnology.
The conference highlighted the importance and role of information technology and its associated systems in enhancing agriculture productivity, elimination of hunger, improving nutrition and achieving food security. The scientists, researchers, technologists and faculty members from different parts of the world shared their knowledge and experiences on new interventions in the field of agriculture, food security and biotechnology.
The conference commenced with an inaugural message by H.E. Dr Amina Al Hajri, Deputy Director General, ISESCO in which she emphasized the dire need of collective efforts from scientists, decision-making authorities and other stake holders to end hunger, achieve food security and improve nutrition, and promote sustainable agricultural growth. She also highlighted the efforts Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) is making in strengthening the role of science and technology in achieving sustainable ecological balance in member states and harnessing technological innovation in achieving sustainable socio-economic development.
Mr. Atiq ur Rehman, Senior Program Officer, INIT delivered the message of Engr. Tahir Naeem, Executive Director, INIT to the worthy participants of the conference. In his message, he discoursed about the significant role of IT in agriculture and especially for the developing countries mostly belonging to the Islamic world as it opens new avenues that can enhance agricultural productivity and empower the agricultural community in taking informed and quality decisions. He also talked about the effectiveness of IT in Biotechnology which has paved the way for the food sector in developing countries to seek international advice and thus enabling them to learn from international experiences and best practices for alleviating the regional quality of food. Speaking about the food security and role of IT in it, he talked about the importance of this issue during severe famine caused by war and natural disasters as food security is largely affected by climate change, shifts in weather patterns, the increase in food prices and the rapid growth of the global population. Lastly, he briefed the participants about INIT and its efforts towards the promotion and deployment of ICTs among Muslim Ummah particularly those countries who opt to be members of INIT.
The first session of the conference began with the keynote addresses on the topic of “Agriculture: Challenges, Perspective and Opportunities in the Islamic World”, the second session focused on “Food Security: Strategy and Dynamics in the Context of SDGs”, the third session was on “Biotechnologies and Their Application: State of the Art and Perspectives in Islamic Countries” and in the fourth session the participants shared their knowledge on “Precision Agriculture/ Satellite Farming and New Applied Technologies”. This fifth and final session of the conference was a panel discussion wherein the participants discoursed about “The Inequality Between Agriculture, Food Security And Biotechnology For A Better Muslim World”.
The Forum brought together experts from Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Kingdom of Morocco, People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, People's Republic of China, Republic of Burkina Faso, Republic of Cameroon, Republic of Indonesia, Republic of Kazakhstan, Republic of Senegal, Republic of Sudan, Republic of Tunisia and Republic of Turkey.
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