Agriculture and Food Security>>Standards and Trade Issues

Agriculture provides the basis of subsistence for the population by production of food and raw materials. This sector constitute a large share of national output and employs a majority of the labor force in most developing countries. However, in recent times, Agriculture has experienced a number of severe shocks with record high oil prices, commodity price spikes, food security fears and resultant trade restrictions, not to mention the most serious global economic downturn since the 1930s. The greatest impact has been on the poor, especially in developing countries, with the world’s hungry now estimated at over 1 billion people. Fortunately, Agriculture has shown remarkable resilience with strong supply response to high prices and with continuing, albeit dampened, demands growth during the crisis.

In addressing this situation, D-8 Ministers of Agriculture Meeting on Food Security was held on 25-27 February 2009 in Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia. During the fruitful meeting, all the delegations adopted Kuala Lumpur Initiative to Address Food Security in D-8 Countries to face the challenges of global food crisis. The KL initiative identified three priority projects to be implemented among D-8 countries. The three projects are:

1.The productivity and supply of quality fertilizers
2.The productivity and supply of quality animal feeds
3.The creation of seed banks to supply quality seeds

The meeting also acknowledges the importance of information gathering among D-8 countries and agreed on the establishment of a market information service system in D-8 countries be initiated on animal feed, seed banks and fertilizers. The D-8 Ministers agreed that it is important to address the issues of standards and trade issues separately as it encompass all the three subject matters. Within this line, the meeting agreed to appoint prime movers to implement the initiatives as follows: 

1.Seed bank : Turkey & Iran
2.Animal Feed : Malaysia & Indonesia
3.Fertilizers : Egypt
4.Standards & Trade Issues : Iran & Turkey
5.Marine and Fisheries : Indonesia

This meeting was followed up by the 2nd D-8 Agricultural Ministerial Meeting on Food Security, which was held on 18th May 2011 in Tehran, Iran, during which the Ministers reiterated commitments made and goals set in the framework of the 6th D-8 Summit Meetings in Kuala Lumpur, 2008, the D-8 Roadmap for Economic Cooperation in the “Second Decade of Cooperation”, “Kuala Lumpur Initiatives to Ensure Food Security”, as well as the previous ministerial meetings, and emphasized that more focus needs to be given to formulation and implementation of concrete projects and activities to translate those goals into collective action by D-8 Group.

One of D-8 achievement in Food Security cooperation is the MoUs between OIC and D8, and D-8 and ECO, to Activate Joint Economic Cooperation. The MoU seeks to encourage the development of joint programs and projects in all sectors, especially in trade, agriculture and tourism, through utilization of the human and material resources of both organizations as well as poised to exchange experiences and expertise to ensure the speedy implementation of their various economic development programs.

Another progress that D-8 have been developing in the food security cooperation is the institutional development of these working groups, which a prime mover as a coordinator, with a permanent secretariat to follow-up, evaluate and implement the program and the activities. Also, in every meeting, these working groups will also inviting the participation of private sectors. Considering the interest of Member Countries to issues related to this area, agriculture is one the most promising areas of cooperation in D-8.  

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Subsequent to the KL Initiative, in the Standard & Trade Issues sub-sector, the following meeting has been held by D-8 Organization:

1)1st Working Group on Standards & Trade Issues (16 May 2011, Tehran, Iran)
Member Countries drafted the 1st Draft on Terms of Reference (ToR) for D-8 Working Group on Standards and Trade Issues. However, ToR has not been finalized during the meeting and Member Countries agreed to submit their comments, views abd additional inputs to the draft of the prime mover country (Iran) by the end of June 2011. If the Member Countries unable to finalize the draft of ToR, it was suggested that the 2nd Working Group Meeting on Standards and Trade Issues should be convened. In this line, Iran as Prime Mover shall initiate communication in organizing a meeting to resolve any pending issues in the future.

2)5th Agriculture Ministerial Meeting on Food Security held on 01-03 December 2014 in Istanbul, Turkey

4th Working Group Meeting on Standard and Trade: The followings have been discussed:

-TOR reconsidered and finalized.

-Islamic Republic of Iran would submit the prototype of the website link to the Secretariat within three months. Member States would provide the necessary input. The mentioned prototype would be an interactive portal, which would be capable to receive, process, classify and disseminate information.

-The information sharing rules and regulation shall be considered in the framework of ethical standards.

-A list on priority products to be prepared for each Member State to facilitate the trade of those particular products for the avoidance of potential problems at the borders due to non-conformity of standards. Member States to submit the list to the Secretariat by the 1st of January 2015 and to be shared with all the Member States.

-To improve trade by eliminating obstacles among the Member States, it is necessary to elaborate, propose and implement a common set of standard rules for specific agriculture products.

At the 2nd Working Group Meeting on  Standards and Trade Issues (WGST) which was held on 3 October 2012 in Mataram-Indonesia, the following outcomes were emerged:

Consideration and Adoption of Draft ToR of the WG on Standards and Trade Issues

6. With regard to the Terms of Reference of WGST, the meeting discussed the general comments of the document. The meeting discussed the mandate of this working group, as proposed by Indonesian delegate, to focus on standards on trade.

7. The meeting proposed to change the name of Working Group on Standard and Trade Issues to Working Group on Standards on Trade, since the related trade issues were being mandated under the Supervisory Committee of D-8. The objective of the WG proposed to be directly aimed for enhancing food trade facilitation among D-8 member countries. 

Waiting for information

Eng. Hamdy Mohammed Mahmoud Assy
Head of Agriculture Services
Tel: +202 37600893
Fax: +202 37604187

Ir. Frida Adiati, MSc.
Directorate of Standadization and Consumer Safety
Ministry of Trade 

Gusmalinda Sari
Head of Section 
Regional Standardization Cooperation – Ministry of Trade
Phone: (+62-21) 3858171 ext 1060; 
fax: (+62-21) 3863928

Eny Tulak
Ministry of  Trade

Ministry of  Trade
Mr. Ahmad Yousefi
Ministry of Agriculture

Zulkifli Yaacob
Ministry of Agriculture and Agrobased Industry

Khairul Gadafi
High Commission of Malaysia

Mr. M.O. Azeez
Director (Rural), Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development 
Tel: +234-8059608574

Mr. A. O. Osho
Director at Federal Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development
Phone: +234 8065488 780

Aykud Uçallı 
Head of Department
General Directorate of Food and Control
Phone: +90 312 258 74 63
Fax: +90 312 256 7472

-1st Working Group Meeting on Standards and Trade Issues (16 May 2011  Tehran–Iran)-Held

-2nd Working Group Meeting on  Standards and Trade Issues (WGST) ( 3 October 2012,  Mataram-Indonesia) -Held 

-4th Working Group Meeting on Standard and Trade (01-03 December 2014, Istanbul-Turkey)- Held