AMMAN, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- The agriculture ministers of Jordan, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon convened in Amman on Sunday to discuss means to boost food security.
During the meeting, Jordan's Agriculture Minister Khaled Hanaifat highlighted the magnitude of challenges facing countries in the region, including climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ukrainian crisis, inflation, and the rise in oil price, according to a statement by the ministry.
Being aware of these challenges, Jordan has set out a comprehensive strategy for food security in cooperation with UN organizations, the minister said at the start of the two-day meeting.
Lauding the World Food Programme's endeavor to establish a regional center for relief and emergency, Hanaifat voiced Jordan's willingness to serve as headquarters for this center.
Syrian Agriculture Minister Muhammad Qatna noted in his speech that increased cooperation will bolster the participating countries' ability to deal with global crises.
"Amidst current global turmoil, it is a key national interest of our four countries to focus on steps that would bring stability and food security by facilitating the flow of commodities and information," Qatna added.
Lebanese Agriculture Minister Abbas Haj Hassan described the meeting as "a model for a united Arab partnership," stressing the need for increased cooperation.
Iraqi Agriculture Minister Muhammad Khafaji underlined the significance of food security to political and economic stability, highlighting the role of such meetings in addressing the regional threats to food and water security.
The minister also called for a unified agricultural calendar to reduce production costs of fertilizers, pesticides and vaccines, among others.