The Moroccan group has allocated nearly half a million tons of fertilizer to African countries, part of which is in the form of donations and the other part at low prices as support against soaring prices.
The announcement was made by one of the pillars of the OCP Group, Iliass Elfali, Executive Director of Strategy and Sustainable Development, as part of the activities of the 14th session of the United States-Africa Business Summit (US -Africa Business Summit), which is being held in Marrakech from July 19 to 22.
This initiative includes the granting of approximately 180,000 tons of fertilizer as a donation to African countries, and approximately 370,000 tons at preferential prices. Iliass Elfali said in this regard, that achieving the transformation of African agriculture requires focusing on smallholders and encouraging partnerships between the public and private sectors to increase productivity.
The Group is committed to developing sustainable African agriculture with the aim of achieving global food security, he further said, noting that in this regard, OCP is focusing its work on Africa and building long-term relationships with farmers in order to develop agriculture on the continent and to support the green revolution and particularly in the current context in which food security is found to be of circumstance.
Despite the importance of the agricultural sector on the continent, Africa largely imports food from abroad. These are great challenges for countries especially with the current price spike, Iliass Elfali added, noting that solving the problem of food security requires tackling the scarcity of cultivated land and giving maximum importance to increasing productivity, because ” Africa is not part of the problem, but rather part of the solution “.
Elfali also stressed the importance of public-private partnership in this regard, indicating that it is among the important solutions, and cited as an example, what the OCP group is doing in the field in Ethiopia. It works in concert with the government and with a particular approach the Group maps the land, produces appropriate fertilizers and provides a certain number of products adapted to the soil.
This has helped increase productivity in some areas by around 40%, and he said, ” the transformation of food systems in Africa will not be achieved without the contribution and integration of small-scale farmers, who represent around 40% of the food production chain”.
For the manager at OCP, the Group’s continental experience has shown that the issue does not only require the application of good practices and the use of fertilizers, but rather the adoption of a global and integrated approach that addresses all the problems encountered by the farmer.
The approach taken by OCP puts the farmer at the heart, highlighting that some systems call for partnerships with banking institutions to provide funds and financial solutions to benefit farmers and work to ensure the sale of their crops, also highlighted Iliass Elfali, noting that the adaptation of approaches is of paramount importance in the agricultural sector.
“There is no magic ideal solution that goes with all contexts “, he underlined, citing in this respect the example of the soil in Africa, very different from that of the north of the globe, where there is an environment characterized by a balance of temperatures which makes it a young soil, other than on our continent with tropical soils and a climate characterized by high temperatures.