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Oman : Redefine food policies.

The policies related to food security in the GCC countries need to be revisited and redefined in the wake of global political and economic situations. This was stated by Khalil bin Abdullah al Khonji, Chairman of Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI), in an interview with the Observer on the sidelines of the Gulf Partnership and Investment Forum, which concluded in Salalah.

Al Khonji, who is also the Chairman of the Federation of GCC Chambers, laid stress on maximum exploration of own food resources of the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) countries and called upon all the stakeholders to revive and rework own channels instead of full outside dependence for food security.

Commenting on the Sultanate s initiatives in this direction, Al Khonji said: Our key initiative is to generate stockpiles of basic food items like rice, flour, sugar and pulses in different parts of the Sultanate and to encourage entrepreneurs to enter into food processing sectors to ensure food security in a planned manner. Our strategy is also aimed at developing a policy to keep stable the prices of essential commodities and laying stress on food related industries especially the food processing ones, he said.

A national committee has already been tasked with identifying ways and means to ensure regular food supply in the Sultanate and keep the prices of food items at a reasonable and stable level. Oman, according to Al Khonji, is working on seriously over food security for the last ten years. It is a matter of concern for of all of us. All the FGCC members held a round table meeting and reached to a conclusion that private sector companies and Islamic banks should take lead role in ensuring food security in all the GCC countries. Al Khonji said some of the Gulf countries had invested in various countries to ensure food safety. But this is not the right solution to ensure food security.

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Publication:Mena Report
Date:Sep 3, 2012
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