Rabat – As an active partner in the development of the agricultural sector in several African countries, the OCP Foundation took part last Thursday in launching the Madagascar Agricultural Caravan, aiming to produce a Malagasy soil fertility map in accordance with the objectives set out for cooperation between the two countries.
Launched at the inauguration of the International Agricultural Fair in Antananarivo held September 14 to 17, this agricultural Caravan, which will cover nine districts in two agricultural regions, Vakinankaratra and Alaotra Mangoro, primarily aims to collect and analyze soil samples used to produce the fertility map in order to evaluate different types and determine the need for suitable fertilizing elements.
It also aims to raise awareness among small farmers and teach them the best practices for reasonable and sustained fertilization. According to a statement released by the OCP, this process will enable Malagasy sectoral authorities to have a decision-making tool to help build a proactive and ambitious agricultural development strategy.
To carry out this project, a laboratory in the Tsimbazaza park in Antananarivo was upgraded and a mobile laboratory was delivered with a quick sampling device. The partnership between the Malagasy Ministry and the OCP Foundation also extends to other aspects, such as the training of executives. According to the OCP, 11 ministry officials have already benefited from capacity-building programs in Morocco in soil analysis, a geographical information system applied to soil mapping, and the quality control of fertilizers.
For the OCP, scientific research in agriculture is of primordial importance, and the Group says it places innovation, research, and development as vectors of competitiveness for successful agriculture. It is in this sense that OCP agricultural caravans have already been organized in Côte d’Ivoire (October 2015), Guinea (May 2015) and Togo (April 2016).
The launching of the Caravan took place in the presence of the Malagasy President, the Minister to the Presidency in charge of Agriculture and Livestock in Madagascar, the Ambassador of the King in Madagascar, and the delegation of the OCP Group.