OFID, IAEA sign grant agreement to promote food security and sustainable agriculture in Asia

VIENNA, Austria, The OPEC Fund for International Development, OFID, has signed a US$600,000 agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, to help enhance food security, improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Nepal and Vietnam.

The agreement was signed by Director-General of OFID, Suleiman J Al-Herbish, and Director-General of IAEA, Yukiya Amano.

Commenting on the agreement, Al-Herbish said, “Grant financing is an important part of OFID’s development operations and we are pleased to be working with the IAEA in support of agriculture in Asia. The two projects will improve food security and ultimately social and economic growth two essential elements of the United Nations Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, which OFID has committed to wholeheartedly. It also fits with OFID’s energy-water-food nexus approach to development.”

Amano welcomed working with OFID again and emphasised the importance of science and technology in furthering development. He said that the supported projects would go a long way in promoting best agricultural practices and benefit many people on the ground in the targeted communities.

OFID’s grant will support two projects that build on earlier IAEA interventions. The first, which will receive $200,000, will advance the application of nuclear techniques for the diagnosis and control of trans-boundary animal diseases, TADs, especially foot-and-mouth disease, in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam.

Primary activities will include training in the diagnosis, detection and vaccine control of TADs and the provision of equipment and supplies to animal health laboratories in the recipient countries. These components are expected to boost the capacity of laboratory staff and benefit around 1,400 animal breeders, as well as the population at large due to the anticipated increase in livestock production, higher incomes and improved food security.

Another project will be allocated $400,000 to promote sustainable rice production systems with a focus on strengthening soil and water management techniques and capacity building among farmers, scientists and national partners in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Lao PDR and Nepal.

The project will benefit targeted populations, especially the underprivileged, who will have access to more affordable, high-quality rice. The improved technologies will also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions that result from rice production.

Source: Emirates News Agency