Rabat – Morocco’s phosphate giant OCP signed Friday a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Cote d’Ivoire, with the aim of reviving rice production in the sub-Saharan country.
The MoU is the culmination of the close cooperation between Cote d’Ivoire’s Ministry of Rice Promotion and OCP Africa.
According to the signatory parties, the agreement intends to boost the implementation of the rice strategy in Cote d’Ivoire and make the country self-sufficient before 2025. For the Ivorian government, meanwhile, the long-term goal is to be one of the largest African exporters of rice by 2030.
OCP Africa aims to achieve its goal in the West African country by restructuring value chains for rice-growing activities, giving broader access to suitable fertilizers so as to improve productivity and income of farmers in Cote d’Ivoire.
Also included in the agreement is the study of soil, training sessions for farmers, awareness raising initiatives about good agricultural practices, as well as the digitalization of the value chain process.
The signing of the agreement saw the presence of Cote d’Ivoire’s Minister of Rice promotion, Gaoussou Toure, the representative of OCP Africa, Mohamed Benzekri, as well as Morocco’s Ambassador in Abidjan, Abdelmalek Kettani.
Cote d’Ivoire is one of several countries in Africa to benefit from OCP’s expertise in agriculture.
In May, OCP teamed up with the Kenya National Trading Corporation (KNTC) to improve farmers’ access to fertilizers at affordable prices.
KNTC managing director, Timothy Mirugi, said the partnership with OCP is a “laudable effort.”
In addition to Cote d’Ivoire and Kenya, the OCP Africa also launched on December 1 a fertility project in Ghana to help the country address its challenges of food security.
In all of its projects across the continent, OCP intervenes for most to assist farmers with soil analysis tools and provide national agencies with state-of-the-art laboratory equipment to better deal with soil fertility.
With its leading role of ensuring food safety in Africa, the Moroccan giant has developed partnerships with several African nations, including Nigeria, Zambia, Benin, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, and Rwanda.