Economic Development Studies » Agriculture and Rural Development

Agriculture plays an important role in majority of OIC economies in terms of employment, production, investment and poverty alleviation. An increasing number of research studies suggest that agriculture sector is instrumental in generating income for the poorest segment of the population especially in the rural areas. Majority of OIC member countries are well endowed with the agricultural resources such as water, arable land and human resources and account for a significant share of global agricultural production. Nevertheless, agriculture sector is underperforming in many OIC countries due to inadequate rural infrastructure, inefficient use of natural resources, low level of mechanization, poor market access, lack of quality inputs, low level of investment and high vulnerability to changing climatic conditions.

The OIC-2025 Plan of Action strongly emphasizes the agriculture and rural development to attain food security and enhance growth and prosperity across the Islamic world. The biennial Ministerial Conference on Food Security and Agriculture Development (MCFSAD) is the highest level gathering of policy makers and other relevant stakeholders to discuss and debate the major developments and design joint policy action in this domain. So far, OIC countries hold seven sessions of the MCFSAD. Agriculture and rural development are part of SESRIC research agenda and the Research Department is regularly preparing a comprehensive report on 'Agriculture and Food Security in OIC Member Countries'. This report serves as the main technical background document of the MCFSAD to initiate and promote policy dialogue and discussion among the member countries and support the evidence-based decision-making.