Rabat – Morocco’s Office Cherifien de Phosphates (OCP), a global leader in the production of fertilizers, is gradually positioning itself to take center stage in what the company sees as the coming African agricultural revolution.
Having already invested in the latest technologies and state-of-the-art agricultural methods to advance its interests in the rest of Africa, the Moroccan company is setting its eyes on “more ambitious projects” on the continent, a statement from the company’s management indicated.
The new project entails investing in artificial intelligence (AI) and “Big Data” to upgrade efficiency in production and prepare for the challenges likely to face African agriculture in a decade.
In its statement, OCP Africa noted that, once completed, the new project would allow the company to use satellite imagery, weather forecast, and historical data to predict and respond to the fluctuations and demands of the continent’s agriculture industry.
“Thanks to this tool, we will be able to think ahead of market’s changes and evolutions and be operationally prepared to meet our clients’ demands,” the company noted.
Also included in OCP’s new vision for its African venture is the establishment of an e-market platform to ease African farmers’ access to global agricultural trends.
On the e-platform, farmers will find information about prices of supplies and weather forecasts.
To familiarize farmers with its digitization project, OCP Africa said it would increase investments in its agri-booster and agri-promoter projects, two of the four signature projects that have gained OCP its current continental influence.
Both are training and expertise-enhancing platforms for African farmers.
OCP in Africa
OCP Africa has used the two projects in the past two years to finance agriculture-linked education.
Training involves familiarizing farmers with the types of fertilizers most compatible with the kind of soil they work with.
The company has organized contests for agriculture start-ups across the continent. It has also provided university scholarships for agricultural and environment engineering students.
Most of the scholarships have been to study at the OCP-linked newly established Mohammed VI Polytechnic University in Ben Guerir, central Morocco.
In the 16 African countries where it operates, OCP Africa has also organized numerous training sessions for local farmers.
Since 2016, when the Moroccan giant launched its OCP Africa label, OCP has become a major actor in many African countries. The company is currently present in 16 countries, including Nigeria, Kenya, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, Tanzania, and Ethiopia.
Most recently, OCP Africa joined forces with the Ethiopian government to improve the country’s agricultural output.
Both actors said that Pan-African Fertilizers, as the $50 million joint project is called, aims to secure the two countries’ prominence in African affairs. At the same time, the project is said to be part of the shared vision for food security and sustainable development in Africa.