At the end of 2019, a number of Nigerian journalists were on a tour in Morocco for a firsthand experience at modern facilities and research institutions that are currently pushing agric expansion in Africa. The trip, among others, gave the visiting team an opportunity to interact with managers of the leading agricultural facilities and research centres. Part of the broad objective of the trip was to deepen the visitors’ knowledge about agric business as well as helping them to appreciate the socio-economic path of phosphate-making giant, OCP Africa. The journey that saw the media personalities visit different locations in Morocco came on the heels of OCP Africa’s aggressive campaign to foster the growth of agriculture in Nigeria.
Among the expansion drives are collaborations with critical stakeholders in the agricultural sector and its positioning as a corporate entity at the frontier of modern agricultural practices. The visitors engaged with the OCP Africa and its research and development aim – Mohammed VI Polytechnic University in Benguerir, a centre of agricultural innovation. Also, the company’s creation of technology/knowledge hubs such as the Research Institute for Solar and New Energies (IRESEN), which hosts Africa’s Solar Decathlon, also provided the visitors a pastime. Also visited were the University Mohammed VI Polytechnic (UM6P) and the Agricultural Innovation and Technology Transfer Centre. UM6P and the centre represent the sustainability philosophy of OCP Africa and its desire to provide Africans with tools to fight hunger and poverty. They are the special purpose social investment vehicles of the group where profits from phosphates are invested to further expand the growth of Africa’s agro business. Currently, phosphate production’s turnover stands at $200 million per annum, and this is expected to continue to grow in the coming years. This represents a rare opportunity for Africa – realisation which informs UM6P and its research activities.
Casablanca is a melting point of Africa’s culture; hence the visit was also to foster cultural exchange between Morocco and Nigeria. And part of this has to do with information on agricultural practices. With Africa’s agriculture threatened by continent-wide challenges, chief of which is low yields occasioned by outdated practices, deteriorating soil quality, climate change and flooding, the OCP Africa revolution offers a rare hope and a template for transforming the sector, reducing hunger and combating poverty. Journalists, who are in the forefront of knowledge sharing, will certainly serve as ambassadors of knowledge-sharing on the huge possibilities of fostering a cultural and economic dialogue that will not only be beneficial to both countries but will possibly also deepen the debate on new cooperation.
SOURCE: DAILY TRUST