The Arab Organization for Agricultural Development (AOAD) was founded in 1970 by Arab Countries. It 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, it assists member countries in developing and enhancing their respective agricultural sectors. At the regional level, it facilitates coordination amongst member states in the agricultural sector, with the aim of achieving a fully integrated Arab economy union, and food self-sufficiency.
Arab Organization for Agricultural Development (AOAD)’s area of working
- Natural Resources Development and Environmental Protection Program : This program entails gathering, sorting and analyzing information on the natural resources available in the Arab region in terms of water, land, forestry, and pastures. It promotes effective use of these resources and encourages Arab cooperation to abide by inter-Arab and international agreements for the protection of the environment and bio-diversity.
- Food Security Program: This program concerns with matters related to food self-sufficiency, developing and modernizing commodities and rural industries.
- Improvement of Agricultural Services, Technology Transfer and Adoption Program: This program focuses on the modernization of the main agricultural services, such as plant and animal quarantines, agricultural insurance, supporting plant referral laboratories, and so forth. In addition, this program encourages research, technology transfer and adoption capabilities with the aim of modernizing Arab agriculture.
- Training and Capacity-building Program: This program aims to develop and enhance the technical capabilities of Arab cadres working in the field of agriculture, with particular emphasis on technology transfer and adoption. Another component of this program is to build the capacities of existing training centres and cooperate with renowned agricultural training centres in the region.
- Technical and Scientific Cooperation Program: This program aims to improve cooperation between AOAD and the Arab, regional and international centres, authorities, and organizations. It also aims to encourage the publishing of researches in the field of agriculture, provide member states with emergency assistance and consultancies upon request.
- Statistics, Information, Documentation and Publishing Program: This program focuses on the creation and management of an Arab Agricultural Information Network, as well as producing the following publications: the annual Arab Agricultural Statistical Yearbook, the annual Report on Agricultural Development in the Arab Region, the annual Arab Food Security Report, amongst others.
- Strengthening the Establishment of the Arab Free Trade Zone Program: This program monitors the implementation process of the Arab Free Trade Zone program, in addition to related activities in support of the process such as: the Common Arab Agricultural Harvesting Calendar, and the implementation of the "Rules of Origin" system for Arab agricultural commodities and products. Another component of the program is to undertake specific studies related to the Arab Free Trade Zone and create relevant databases.
- Agricultural Integration and Enhancement of the International Competitiveness of Arab Agricultural Products Program: This program supports the efforts leading to wider cooperation and integration between the Arab countries, particularly in the field of agricultural policies. It also encourages joint Arab investment projects, production and marketing projects, and encourages membership of Arab countries to the World Trade Organization.
- Supporting Joint Development Projects Program: This program entails making all necessary arrangements for the preparation, implementation, supervision, and evaluation, of national or regional agricultural projects funded by AOAD or otherwise.
Organizational structure of Arab Organization for Agricultural Development (AOAD)
The organizational structure of AOAD is considered an important working tool, since it is the channel through which the organization achieves its objectives. The Structure of the Organization is discussed below:
Legislative Authority: It consists of the General Assembly members (Council of Arab Ministers of Agriculture), and on a smaller scope, the Executive Council members, elected by the GA and consisting of seven Ministers of Agriculture.
- The General Assembly: It consists of the Arab Ministers of Agriculture, and is considered the highest authority in the organization. It is the body which sets the strategy and policies to be followed by the organization, the overall planning of activities, and is responsible for monitoring the technical, managerial and financial performance of the organization.
- The Executive Council: It consists of the organization's Administration, represented by The Director General assisted by a Deputy Director General, a Technical Advisor and a Legal advisor, in addition to a technical structure of departments, units and centres with their relevant personnel and technical experts at AOAD Headquarters, implementing different projects, and at the regional offices.
General Administration: The General Administration is the implementing body for the organization, with the responsibilities and authorities bestowed upon it by the organization's charter. It is responsible for the delivery of the work plan approved by the General Assembly and the Executive Council. The General Administration is headed by a Director General, assisted by a Deputy Director General, a Technical Advisor, a Legal Advisor, administrative personnel, as well as technical and managerial experts.