Morocco’s OCP Group teams up with WB to unlock Africa’s potential in global food security

Morocco’s OCP Group teams up with WB to unlock Africa’s potential in global food security

Morocco’s Phosphate Group (OCP) and the World Bank agreed on Wednesday in Marrakesh to strengthen cooperation ties and programs benefitting five million farmers in Benin, Guinea, Mali, and Togo, covering 10 million hectares.

The agreement was inked by OCP CEO Mostafa Terrab and WB Vice-Pdt.for Central Africa Ousmane Diagana during the ongoing WB-IMF Annual meetings taking place in Marrakesh.

The OCP-WB cooperation aims at accelerating investments and reforms to make fertilizers more accessible and affordable to farmers.

“The goal is to drive a just and sustainable agricultural transition, by widening the access of farmers in West Africa to customized fertilizers that nourish the soil and improve crop yields, which in turn enhances the livelihoods of farmers, thereby contributing to African development and prosperity,” said Terrab.

“Both our institutions believe in accelerating investments and reforms to support a resilient agriculture that promotes sustainable development and creates jobs. This partnership between the World Bank and the OCP Group is turning the Lomé Declaration into action,” said Mr. Ousmane.

The partnership will focus on five areas of cooperation, namely improving soil health and fertility through digital soil mapping analysis and customized fertilization; establishing agricultural technology and service centers to train and support smallholder farmers; launching a Digital Farming School program to foster local capacities and entrepreneurship to transform the agri-food sector; strengthening the capacity of ECOWAS to operationalize its Roadmap on fertilizers and soil health; and supporting the establishment of a Regional Center for Soil Health and Fertility management in West Africa hosted by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA).

With this partnership, both institutions reaffirm their commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, in particular SDG 2 on hunger and food security, and SDG 13 on climate change.

On Tuesday, the OCP Group and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) unveiled an ambitious agri-finance platform. The initiative aims to mobilize a substantial $800 million in blended capital by 2030, in an effort to bolster agricultural growth and enhance food security in Africa.

The platform aims to build and support sustainable food production and distribution systems across the African continent, said OCP in a press release.

By providing access to finance and comprehensive skills training, the initiative plans to strengthen 30 agricultural value chains, via 60 agri-finance operations. These operations will encompass various crop types and address prevalent challenges hindering the sector’s growth and resilience.

The press release underlined that agriculture holds immense economic significance for Africa, contributing approximately 20% to the continent’s GDP and employing over 60% of its population.

Despite the continent’s agricultural potential, Africa currently relies heavily on food imports. This leaves the continent vulnerable to external disruptions, such as those posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine.

The targeted investment strategy of the platform aims to address these challenges, and foster sustainable growth within the sector, ultimately enhancing food security across Africa.

Mostafa Terrab was quoted in the press release as saying that the partnership with IFC will help “unlock the full potential of Africa to feed not only itself but the world.”

“Today we take a major step towards a just African agricultural transformation by mobilizing substantial new financing for African farmers and for the value chains that support them,” Terrab added.

Meanwhile, Managing Director of IFC Makhtar Diop emphasized the critical role of agriculture in Africa and expressed enthusiasm about scaling up the partnership with OCP to attract investment and improve food production on the continent.


Share This