With the aim of promoting sustainable food systems and contributing to the improvement of food and nutrition security in the sultanate, the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Zubair Small Enterprises Centre (Zubair SEC) – a social impact initiative by The Zubair Corporation – have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to collaborate towards strengthening the role of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in achieving food security in Oman.
This partnership serves as an example of multi-stakeholder efforts towards meeting the goals set by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The MoU was signed by Nora Ourabah Haddad, FAO representative in Oman and Al Zubair Muhammad al Zubair, vice chairman of Zubair Corporation with the attendance of management representatives from both sides, a press statement said.
FAO and Zubair SEC realise the need for a more integrated approach to promote sustainable food systems in Oman and the significant role SMEs can play across the value chain. The agreement encompasses various areas of collaboration that would capitalise on the shared knowledge and expertise both FAO and Zubair SEC hold to facilitate opportunities for SMEs in food systems. The areas include strengthening SMEs’ capacities in entrepreneurship, management and financial skills to contribute to the achievement of food and nutrition security; fostering and facilitating multi-stakeholder dialogues in relevant areas, and improving knowledge in food security related issues in the framework of Sustainable Development.
Nora said, “SMEs and farmer-based organisations are key actors and agents of change to the sustainable transformation of food systems along the value chain. They are one of the central stakeholders along the food value chain in the sultanate. Partnering with Zubair SEC is critical due to their proven track record in supporting SMEs. I commend their important contribution to the development of the SMEs ecosystem and very much look forward to expanding our collaborative efforts.”
Highlighting the importance of the agreement, Zubair said, “We are proud of the trust that a global organisation such as FAO has put in Zubair SEC to collaborate in what we believe are much-needed projects that aim at strengthening the role of SMEs in achieving food security in the sultanate.”