It has been more than 100 days since the war in Ukraine started, putting Europe, and the world, in a very critical situation. Africa, already economically and socially weakened by the pandemic for two years, is currently experiencing a worrying food crisis precisely because of this war in Ukraine which has disrupted the chains of taming.
Europe, which in the process of countering the “Advances from Moscow to Western Ukraine », is in a hurry to prevent a mass migration crisis from famine-induced North Africa. But Morocco does not want to let itself be made by this international pressure while remaining dependent on Russia or Ukraine as regards the basic products, in particular cereals.
In a report published byThe Middle East Institute », it is stated that Europe is facing a two-pronged geoeconomic war of attrition with Russia. Pressed to prevent a famine-induced migration crisis from the AN, Europe has welcomed Morocco’s plan to increase its fertilizer production by almost 70% which will certainly “altered the strategic equation by countering Moscow’s ability to + militarize + the food-energy nexus”.
Morocco has therefore once again demonstrated itsgrowing importance as a geopolitical partner of Europe and the United States in sub-Saharan Africa”specifies the report before emphasizing that “hunger-driven migration from Africa could be more than the European Union can handle”. Moreover, the Vice-President of the European Commission, Margaritis Schinas, warned that this migration “was not going to be so manageable” before adding: “We have a global interest in avoiding this“.
Thus, the MEI report states that “Morocco is the fourth largest fertilizer exporter in the world, after Russia, China and Canada“, which somehow comforts the Europeans.
On May 17, the OCP (Office Chérifien des Phosphates) announced the increase of its fertilizer production for 2022 by 10%, which will allow an additional 1.2 million tonnes to be injected into the world market. here the end of the year.
This figure reflects OCP’s ability to set up a production line with a capacity of one million tonnes in six months. Moreover, OCP’s financial director said that the group plans to increase its production capacity between 2023 and 2026 by an additional 7 million tonnes, or 58% compared to current production levels.
According to the report, “increasing OCP production levels would undermine Russia’s ability to weaponize fertilizers“, noting that”Morocco could become the central bank of the global fertilizer market and the guardian of the world’s food supply“.
The same report concludes that “Morocco has invested a total of $6.3 billion to build fertilizer factories in sub-Saharan Africa, showing remarkable strategic foresight to help counter the Russian threat to militarize the food-energy nexus“, Notes the same source.
Since the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian war, the prices of basic foodstuffs and energy have soared dramatically, turning fertilizers into an existential crisis for global food security. The world’s two largest fertilizer exporters, Russia and China, which together account for 28.4% of global exports, have imposed restrictions on fertilizer exports.