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MPs, Int'l Experts Call for Stronger Food Security Policies
Rabat - Parliamentarians and international experts called, Thursday in Rabat, for tangible and immediate measures to strengthen food security policies and improve market transparency in light of the challenges posed by the current global situation marked by food and energy price hikes.

Speaking at the first session of an international parliamentary symposium organized by the House of Advisors on Food sovereignty and security, they urged parliaments to play a greater role in addressing the challenges of food sustainability.

In this regard, Sheikha Bint Yousuf Al-Jufairi, representative of the Arab Parliament, said that Arab countries are suffering from problems related to food security as the gap between food production and consumption is growing.

"Arab parliaments are called upon to provide an advanced legislative structure to solve the problem of food security and pay more attention to strengthening parliamentary diplomacy, which would play an important role in achieving this goal," she said.

For his part, the Deputy Director in the Trade and Markets Division of the UN's Food and Agricultural Organization, Josef Schmidhuber, highlighted the impact of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict that has led to a record increase in the cost of food imports.

Most countries in the Middle East and North Africa can overcome this situation as they are among the largest exporters of oil, gas and fertilizers, whose prices have also risen on international markets, he said, calling for the development of policies to mitigate the impact of this crisis on less developed countries.

The Vice President of the Food Security Network within the Association of Senates, Shoora and Equivalent Councils in Africa and the Arab World, Jihad Al-Fadil, described the food crisis as a real danger that requires concrete actions by parliaments and governments to preserve social stability.

For her part, Cristina Scirocco, Director of Cooperation at the Italian Confederation of Farmers, stressed the key role that farmers play in strengthening food security as a lever for equitable and sustainable development.

Farmers are facing serious challenges that limit their capabilities, including climate change, the crisis of Covid-19, logistical problems and high energy prices, she said.