Artificial Intelligence, a huge potential for agriculture development in Morocco (Diplomat)

Agricultural sciences and new technologies offer an “enormous potential” to Morocco for the development of the farming sector, said, Thursday in New York, permanent representative of Morocco to the UN, Omar Hilale.

“Today, these sciences and technologies are helping to increase the production of small and medium farmers as well as helping to produce more food with less water and energy,” Hilale said at a high-level virtual meeting on “the role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in achieving post-Covid food security.”

The Green Morocco Plan, a national agricultural strategy in force since 2008, has helped boost agriculture and make it the main engine of growth of the Kingdom’s economy, through job creation and poverty reduction, he said, stressing that the vision of Morocco in the agricultural field tends to ensure national food self-sufficiency and opens the possibility of exporting quality agricultural products to the world.

The ambassador also noted that new fertilizer technology using artificial intelligence focuses on improving the efficiency and use of soil inputs, and in water-poor regions, irrigation plays a fundamental economic and social role, contributing to agricultural productivity and income raising of rural people.

Water scarcity, accentuated by climate change, represents a growing challenge for farmers, he added, recalling that Morocco has invested heavily in feeding the soil with the right amount of nutrients and in the use of new technologies to optimize water management, in order to promote a more sustainable irrigation model.

Hilale also noted that in a context of crisis marked by the Covid-19 pandemic, it is necessary to make a paradigm shift towards development, while transforming this global crisis into “an opportunity for sustainability”.

The pandemic “has changed the way consumers and producers connect with each other,” he said, noting that Artificial Intelligence is now becoming a tool to optimize agribusiness value chains and improve online business for small and medium farmers.

The high-level meeting on the role of AI in achieving post-Covid food security was co-organized by the Moroccan and Nigerian Permanent Missions to the UN to highlight the role that cooperation can play in particular in the areas of sustainable agriculture, information and technology, climate change, water management and renewable energy.

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