South South Cooperation: OCP signs new agreements with Ghana
Morocco’s OCP Group and Ghana’s Ministry of Food and Agriculture have signed Thursday two additional milestone agreements that are in line with the promotion of South-South cooperation pursued by the North African Kingdom.
The first cooperation agreement pertains to the farmer centric activities, soil mapping, innovation and digital farmer registration, the OCP said in a press release, indicating that the signing took place on the sidelines of the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF), held in Accra September 3 to 6.
The second agreement is a Term Sheet for the industrial project, aimed at strengthening key aspects of the development of Ghanaian agriculture and industry.
These agreements come after the Memorandum of Understanding signed in September 2018, between the two sides. The MoU provides for improving the fertilizer value chain to supply “customized fertilizers at competitive prices to Ghanaian farmers.”
Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, noted during the signing ceremony of the agreements that thanks to cooperation with OCP group, Ghana increased its fertilizers consumption from 8 kg/ha to 20 kg/ha in two years.
This leap forward had a significant impact on small farmers, he said.
Besides the latest cooperation agreements, Accra hosted in August the first stage of the African tour of the OCP IMPULSE program.
IMPULSE program, developed by the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P), aims at accelerating start-ups and active agri-entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector, among others.
In addition, the project to build a fertilizer production plant, in the western part of Ghana, announced in September 2018, will be completed in 2024, OCP Africa Director Karim Lotfi Senhadji announced on Thursday in Accra.
“Based on the raw materials of Morocco and Ghana, namely phosphate and gas, this plant will have a production capacity of one million tons,” said Karim Lotfi Senhadji who is taking part in the African forum on the green revolution.
The unit will enable Ghana to achieve self-sufficiency in terms of fertilizer and provide farmers throughout the region with appropriate inputs adapted to their needs, in particular in terms of soil mapping, said the OCP official.
Senhadji also stressed that cooperation between the OCP group and Ghana aims to inform farmers about good agricultural practices, particularly in terms of soil fertility, through training and guidance.
In Ghana, OCP Africa has launched several initiatives, including the OCP School Lab, a traveling training school for good agricultural practices and the Agribooster program, a package of products and services aimed at improving farmer performance.
Ultimately, the joint initiatives of the Ghanaian Ministry of Food and Agriculture and OCP Group will help employability, provide access to quality fertilizers at a competitive price and significantly increase balanced fertilizer consumption by Ghanaian farmers, the press release said.
Currently, fertilizers’ use averages 18 kg of nutrients per hectare, which is well below the 50 kg of nutrients per hectare Abuja target.
Established in 2016, OCP Africa works hand in hand with farmers to help sustain the continent’s vast agricultural potential. It also offers solutions adapted to local conditions and to the specific needs of crops.