FAO partners with Libya to boost the country’s national capacities in the agricultural sector

Libya, 10 August 2017- The Government of Libya has signed a USD 3.5 million agreement with FAO to strengthen its technical and functional national capacities in agriculture. The project aims to build capacities and to ensure more efficient and effective governmental agricultural support services to achieve greater synergies and impacts.

After hydrocarbons, agriculture is the second most important sector in Libya’s economy. However, the socio-economic and environmental settings in which the agricultural sector operates present a number of challenges, such as low productivity and climate conditions, characterized by little and fluctuating rainfall, limited water resources and poor irrigation systems.

“Libya has recognized the fundamental role of improved agricultural innovation systems in order to achieve agricultural sustainability, improve food security and livelihoods and economic development. In this context, we, the Government of Libya, represented by the Ministry of Agriculture, have requested technical assistance from our trusted partner FAO,” said H.E. Mahmoud El-Tilisi, Permanent Representative of Libya to FAO.

Since 2006, the Government of Libya and FAO signed a number of agreements for technical cooperation. However, due to the country`s difficult security situation, the projects signed under a 5 year framework agreement (2012-2017) could not be implemented. As a consequence, the latest framework agreement has been extended from 2017 to 2022.

“This capacity development project will critically contribute to upgrading the skills and the capacities of the staff of the Ministry of Agriculture in a wide range of technical areas, following a long period of instability. In the short term, it will contribute to strengthening the capacities of the Ministry in dealing with the immediate challenges to agriculture and livestock production. As well, the cadre of the Ministry will be provided with the tools and capabilities to prepare for the recovery of the agricultural sector,” added Abdessalam Ould Ahmed, Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative of FAO Regional Office for the Near East.

FAO has been continuously active in building partnerships, networking, training and capacity development in the field of agricultural innovation. As capacity development is at the core of FAO's mandate, these comparative advantages position the organization well to implement this project and to achieve sustainable results with impact.

“This is an innovative project that will not only strengthen Libya’s national capacities but also capacity development programmes in regional institutions. The project will support the priority issues facing Libya in food security both now and in the future,” said Sally Berman, FAO Capacity Development Officer.

“The project is an entry point for strategic partnerships between FAO Libya and academia and research institutions in the country. It will generate significant and relevant knowledge to assist the Libyan Government through the training of more than 300 technicians and experts of the Ministry of Agriculture who would address the challenges faced in achieving food and nutrition security,” said Mohammed Al-Ansi, OiC, FAO Libya.

The project contributes towards achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as it links to SDGs 1 and 2, to end poverty and hunger, as well as to other SDGs, such as SDG 6, which covers water sanitation, and SDGs 12 to 15, which deal with responsible consumption, climate action, life below water and life on land.