OCP Africa, IFC pool efforts to strengthen the rice sectors in Côte d’Ivoire and millet in Senegal

OCP Africa, IFC pool efforts to strengthen the rice sectors in Côte d’Ivoire and millet in Senegal

OCP Africa and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, have announced this Monday a partnership to strengthen value chains of rice in Côte d’Ivoire and millet in Senegal, and to help improve the living conditions of thousands of smallholder farmers.

These crops, essential to ensure food security in these two West African countries, operate at yields well below their full potential due in part to a lack of professionalization, inadequate agricultural practices, and lack of access to financing, OCP Africa, a subsidiary of Morocco’s OCP Group, the world leader in the phosphate and derivatives market, and IFC said in a joint statement.

As part of this partnership, IFC will provide consulting services to farmers and agricultural groups that are members of OCP Africa’s Agribooster program to reach nearly 12,000 Ivorian and Senegalese farmers by 2022.

This project aims at strengthening the technical, financial, and managerial skills of cooperatives, and to improve agricultural practices by integrating climate-smart solutions for water and soil management. It also aims to speed up the digitization of payment systems in both value chains and the development of a rating tool to improve access to farmers’ financing.

“We are very pleased with this partnership with OCP Africa, a strong contributor to the development of agriculture in Africa, which aims to promote more responsible and environmentally friendly agriculture,” said Xavier Reille, IFC’s Maghreb Director.

“This partnership embodies our vision of unlocking the potential of African agriculture sustainably, through a holistic approach, involving key players in the value chain, to the benefit of smallholder farmers,” said Mohamed Anouar Jamali, Managing Director of OCP Africa.

OCP Africa is developing fertilizer solutions adapted to local conditions and crop needs in African countries through agronomy, research and development, capacity building and distribution.

In this connection, the subsidiary of the OCP group signed at the beginning of the month a memorandum of understanding with the Ivorian government aimed at contributing to the revitalization of rice production and cultivation in Côte d’Ivoire.

The deal will help Côte d’Ivoire speed up the implementation of its national strategy on the development of rice cultivation. The goal is to reach self-sufficiency by 2025 before becoming one of the largest African exporters by 2030. It relies on OCP Africa to improve the productivity of rice cultivation and thus contribute to increase the income of Ivorian rice farmers.

OCP Africa, with whom IFC signed an agreement in principle in January 2020 for enhanced collaboration, is a strategic player in Africa for the development of sustainable and intelligent agriculture that values the work of small producers and strengthens food security.

OCP Africa is present in several African countries, including Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Cameroon, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Zambia, Benin, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, and Rwanda.

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