The Arab Organization for Agricultural Development (AOAD) was established in 1970, upon the desire of the Arab countries. Realizing the vital role of agriculture within the region''s economy, the Arab countries recognized the need for coordination between their different policies in agriculture, natural and human resources as well as economic development, in order to achieve the ultimate goal of a fully integrated Arab economies.
AOAD started operating in 1972. Due to the abundance of Sudan''s natural resources, in particular in agriculture, Khartoum was selected to host the organization''s headquarters.
AOAD is one of the specialized Arab organizations, functioning under the umbrella of the League of Arab States. As such, its members are all the member states of the Arab League. The organization''s goals, stated upon its establishment, are defined on two dimensions: nationally as well as regionally. At the national level, AOAD is to assist member countries in developing and enhancing their respective agricultural sectors. At the regional level, AOAD is to facilitate coordination amongst member states in the agricultural sector, with the aim of achieving a fully integrated Arab economy union, and food self-sufficiency.
Over the past three decades -during the 70s, the 80s, the 90s and at the beginning of the new millennium- AOAD has left footprints and has had a positive impact on the development of agriculture in the Arab region, and within each member state. This was primarily achieved through ambitious, structured and well-developed plans that took into consideration the agricultural-related as well as agricultural sectors. Furthermore, these plans were constantly reviewed, evaluated and updated to ensure that they met, and catered to, the regional and international changes which periodically occur.
At the start of the third millennium, the AOAD member states confirmed, during the 26th General Assembly meeting, the need to further develop AOAD''s programs, activities and methodologies in order to better meet the challenges of the upcoming period. They emphasized particularly, the need to assist member countries in their national development plans based on their specific needs and priorities.
We hope that this Site will prove useful to those interested in the work of AOAD, and will assist in further strengthening linkages between this organization and its counterparts in the Arab region.
The Establishment of AOAD
The idea behind the establishment of the Arab Organization for Agricultural Development was based on a number of socioeconomic reasons prevalent during the 1970s, amongst which the most important were:
The desire of countries to establish their agricultural and economic sectors on solid foundations, based on technical know-how and benefiting from the experience of others.
The recognition of the importance of the agricultural sector within the Arab economy, and the conviction that the development of agriculture will lead to economic well-being.
The realization that Arab agricultural resources have not been exploited to their fullest nor in the most efficient and effective manner.
The striking similarities in environmental and socioeconomic conditions between the different Arab countries, as well as the nature of their agricultural challenges. " The knowledge that better exploitation of, and maximization on, the agricultural sector would enable the Arab countries to meet their needs in other sectors of the economy.
The awareness that an integrated Arab agricultural policy could only be attained through better coordination between Arab countries.
In addition to the above, the Charter of the League of Arab States provided for the establishment of a specialized agricultural organization. Therefore, the establishment of the Arab Organization for Agricultural Development (AOAD), was approved by the League of Arab States, by resolution no. 2635, dated March 11, 1970. Khartoum, the Sudanese capital, was chosen as the host country for the organization, in view of its vast agricultural resources and its potential in terms of Arab food security.
The Objectives of AOAD
The overall objective of the AOAD is to identify and develop linkages between Arab countries, and coordinate all agricultural and agricultural -related activities amongst them. In more specific terms, this entails the following:
Developing the natural and human resources available in the agricultural sector, and enhancing their output based on technical know-how.
Increasing agricultural productivity, both in the animal and plant sectors, and attaining full agricultural integration between Arab countries.
Facilitating exchange of agricultural products between Arab countries.
Increasing agricultural production in order to attain food self-sufficiency.
Supporting agricultural projects and processing industries.
Bettering the living conditions of workers in the agricultural sector.
In order to better attain these objectives, the AOAD deems it necessary to undertake a number of activities on the regional as well as national levels, such as the following:
Collecting and disseminating information and data relevant to the fields of food and agriculture.
Coordinating and supporting local and regional efforts in the agricultural sector, and in specific:
Scientific and technological researches, as well as socioeconomic studies in fields related to food, agriculture and rural communities.
Supporting organizations and service-providers in the fields of education, training, agricultural know-how , home-economics, credit and management, as well as development of rural communities.
Natural resources preservation and updated know-how in food processing industries.