The OCP Group and the World Bank have joined forces to boost food security and agricultural development in West Africa. The agreement, announced today, will enable African farmers to improve agricultural productivity and soil health by using customized fertilizers and sustainable farming practices.
At the World Bank and IMF Annual Meetings in Marrakech, OCP Chairman and CEO Mostafa Terrab and World Bank Vice President for Western and Central Africa Ousmane Diagana signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to foster cooperation and programs benefiting five million farmers across Benin, Guinea, Mali, and Togo.
This collaboration intends to speed up investments and reforms that will make fertilizers more accessible and inexpensive to farmers.
Terrab said “These projects are an important step towards unlocking Africa’s potential in global food security. 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.”
This is a key cooperation to help member countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) meet the obligations set in the Lomé Declaration, which was ratified in May 2023.
World Bank’s Ousmane Diagana said “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.”
The partnership will focus on five areas of cooperation first of which is improving soil health and fertility through digital soil mapping analysis and customized fertilization, followed by establishing agricultural technology and service centers to train and support smallholder farmers.
Third comes the launching of a Digital Farming School program to foster local capacities and entrepreneurship to transform the agri-food sector; then Strengthening the capacity of ECOWAS to operationalize its Roadmap on fertilizers and soil health, and lastly 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).
The collaboration reaffirms both organizations’ commitment to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, specifically SDG 2 on hunger and food security and SDG 13 on climate change.