Morocco, which holds 70% of the world’s phosphate reserves, received this Thursday on an official visit, the new Brazilian Minister of Agriculture, Marcos Montes. The discussions revolved around the increase in fertilizer imports from the Kingdom, but also the opening of a factory in Brazil.
“It’s a pilgrimage we call fertilizer diplomacysaid Montes, adding that he would be joined by private sector representatives to “open doors“. This “pilgrimage” led Marcos Montes to the OCP Group and its CEO Mostafa Terrab.
At the end of this meeting, which was attended by the Brazilian agricultural attaché in Rabat, Nilson Guimarães, Marcos Montes announced his intention to install a phosphate processing unit in Brazil in order to produce phosphate by-products .
Thus, it could be located about ten kilometers from the port of Itaqui, not far from the city of São Luis, capital of the State of Maranhão.
According to the Brazilian Minister, the vision for the future presented by the OCP Group finds total synergy with Brazil’s objectives in terms of sustainability and global food security. “We have this joint responsibility, both Morocco, which has the largest phosphate reserve in the world, and Brazil, which has an extension of land and strong scientific technology to produce food for the world.“, did he declare.
Remarks corroborated by the Chairman and CEO of the OCP Group, Mostafa Terrab, during this meeting which was held in Rabat. Terrab spoke about the group’s investment projects abroad and its interest in the country. “Having a factory in Brazil would be very useful“, he said. Adding that the OCP Group is ready to give priority to the Brazilian market.
The project, which is only at a preliminary stage, has a good chance of materializing. In which case it would be the first plant of the OCP Group in Brazil. The products would be made with phosphate rock imported from Morocco. There is also talk of introducing the production of dicalcium phosphate, an input and source of phosphorus in animal feed.
It should also be said that the OCP Group is currently the largest phosphorus supplier in Brazil, where it holds 31% of the world market for phosphate products. The Group has been operating in Brazil since 2010, with seven offices in particular. Morocco is the world’s second largest producer of phosphate fertilizers, representing around 17% of world production. In 2021, Brazil imported more than $1.6 billion worth of fertilizer from Morocco.
Furthermore, the Kingdom could also be a scientific partner with Brazil. Indeed, the Brazilian Minister of Agriculture mentioned a possible partnership between Embrapa whose president, Celso Moretti, was part of the delegation and the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P). Embrapa is one of the largest agricultural research companies in the world created by Brazil in 1973 to develop the technological base for a truly tropical model of agriculture and livestock.
The initiative was tasked with providing Brazil with food security and a leading position in the international food, fiber and energy market. Also the two entities present several converging strategies for the application of agricultural technologies, which indicate a great potential for cooperation between the two countries, including the use of bio-inputs in addition to the use of conventional fertilizers.