FAO designates Moroccan innovation as MENA’s best COVID-19 protection for farmers

Participants in the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) webinar voted a Moroccan digital solution, dubbed Attaisir or Tighten up, as the best innovative initiative in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) for the protection of farmers and vulnerable groups against COVID-19 contamination, announced the Moroccan Agricultural Development Agency (ADA).

Attaisir came first out of seven other projects from the MENA region in the FAO-organized webinar devoted to innovative initiatives regarded as tools to protect farmers against negative externalities of the COVID-19-induced crisis.

Cosumar Group, a leading manufacturer of white sugar in Morocco, created Attaissir with a Moroccan startup in 2019 to respond to challenges of cultivating and harvesting sugar crops, particularly sugar cane and beet.

 

By digitizing the processes of cultivation and harvesting, the innovation facilitates the management of key stages of cultivation. Cosumar, which is keen on fully playing its role in the transfer of technology, estimates that 80,000 of its strategic partners—farmers growing the sugar plants—benefit from the initiative in the framework of the win-win partnership that characterizes agricultural aggregation, ADA said in a press release.

 

Attaisir came into existence under the Green Morocco Plan, a countrywide agricultural strategy dating back to 2008. The plan was meant to boost agriculture to make of it the main growth engine of national economy and increase its contribution to GDP growth, job creation, and poverty reduction.

After the introduction of the state of health emergency on March 20, Attaisir’s functionalities allowed for remote monitoring of a fleet of more than 2,000 GPS-linked agricultural machines. The system ensured a continuous supply of the national sugar market while minimizing the risk of contamination and strictly respecting the social distancing rules.

 

The ADA intends to use Attaisir as inspiration for transforming other agricultural projects to allow small farmers to benefit from agricultural digitalization. Digitalization occupies a prominent place in the “Generation Green” strategy for the development of the agricultural sector in the 2020-2030 period.

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