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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.