OCP Africa, IDB Team Up to Improve Rice Production in Cote d’Ivoire
Since launching its OCP Africa initiative, OCP Group has become the go-to partner for many African countries determined to modernize their agriculture.
Rabat – OCP Group, the world’s largest phosphate mining company and a global leader in the production of fertilizers, and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) are joining forces to improve Cote d’Ivoire’s agricultural output. Specifically, the OCP-IDB joint venture seeks to boost the production of rice in the West African country.
OCP Africa, the pan-Africanism-themed and sustainable agriculture-centered initiative that the OCP Group launched in 2016, and the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), a subsidiary of the IDB, signed a partnership agreement on Tuesday this week. As per the document, the two corporations committed to boosting the “Agribooster rice program” in Côte d’Ivoire.
The program was launched in 2018, with the main goal of supporting Ivorian rice farmers and improving agricultural value chains in the country, according to the agreement. As part of the OCP-IDB partnership, the program will receive financial and technical support to help as many as 20,000 smallholder rice farmers.
In a statement following the signing of the agreement, OCP Africa specified that the scheme’s primary goal is to provide farmers with “all the necessary conditions to increase their yields and incomes, including the supply of fertilizers and hybrid seeds, training in good agricultural practices and soil fertility, as well as market access.”
In its three years of existence, the Agribooster program has helped over 630,000 smallholder farmers across West Africa, especially in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, and Senegal.
According to OCP Africa, the program has been of even greater significance for “key farmers,” whose productivity has increased by approximately 40% since the launch of the Agribooster program.
Meanwhile, OCP and IDB’s partnership fits with the “strategic” objectives of the Ivorian government’s agricultural policy, with the West African country taking steps to become “self-sufficient in rice production” by 2025 and an exporter by 2030.
For OCP, the program with Ivory Coast is part of a broader pattern of the Moroccan company’s vow to improve agriculture in Africa and help the continent attain food security.
Since launching its OCP Africa initiative in February 2016, the OCP Group has become the go-to partner for many African countries determined to either develop a local production chain for fertilizers or increase their agricultural output.
In recent months, OCP has worked with the governments of Nigeria, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Senegal, Guinea, Mali, Tanzania, among many others, to boost sustainable and “smart” agriculture that can help the continent meet the pressing concern of feeding a population projected to exponentially rise in the coming decades.
Most recently, the Moroccan company made headlines – and history – after it completed the first-ever intra-African blockchain-based transaction with the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (TDB).
OCP described the historic transaction as the first step in their shared vision of furthering intra-African exchanges, propelling continental digitization, as well as boosting innovative and sustainable agriculture across the continent.