Morocco Renews Commitment to Share Fertilizer, Soil Experience with African Countries

Morocco has renewed its commitment to share its experience and international expertise in fertilizers and soil health with African countries before the ministerial preparatory meeting for the Africa Fertilizer and Soil Health Summit, scheduled to take place in Nairobi, on Thursday.

“Following the high orientations of HM King Mohammed VI, Morocco expresses once more its commitment to share its experiences and international expertise in fertilizers and soil health with our brotherly countries in Africa in the effort to improve soil productivity and durability and hence ensure food security for the continent,” said Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Rural Development and Water and Forests, Mohamed Sadiki.

Aware of the direct impact and tight link of fertilizers and soil health with food security, Morocco considers this topic among the most central both in the national policy as well as in its African policy, stated the minister who leads a large delegation to this meeting attended by African Ministers of Agriculture.

“Today the challenge of our continent is to solve the complex equation to produce more and better with less use of natural resources, namely water and soils,” stressed the Minister, noting that soil health is the cornerstone of food security, sustainable development, and resilience in the face of evolving climate challenges.

In this respect, he pointed out that African soils are seriously vulnerable to the various pressures they face, due to human activities and unsustainable agricultural and non-agricultural practices, noting that these pressures are increasingly exacerbated by climate change.

Soils are not sufficiently stressed on in the African agricultural development plans, he lamented, explaining that scientific evidence “clearly illustrates that meticulous soil fertility management can potentially increase food production by nearly 58%.”

The achievement of sustainable development goals depends on a blend of sustainable agricultural practices and the intelligent utilization of fertilizers on our soils.

For this purpose, Sadiki noted that two fundamental pathways are necessary for fortifying soil health, which are soil fertility management and evidence-based rational fertilization.

For the Minister, these dual paths constitute essential pillars in enhancing productivity among small and medium-scale producers and ensuring the longevity of production systems.

“Hence, we need a comprehensive understanding of soils and their fertility for optimizing fertilizer inputs at territorial, local, and plot levels,” said Sadiki, pointing out that Morocco has proactively followed policies aimed at understanding, managing, and conserving soil in a comprehensive way.

This concerted effort has culminated in the successful mapping of soil fertility across all its agricultural lands, serving as a basis for agricultural development initiatives, explained the Minister, noting that “The precious soil fertility data have facilitated the formulation of customized fertilizer formulations, complemented by digitalized soil fertility maps that empower localized agricultural advisory services”.

Through South-South cooperation within the African continent, Morocco has been consistently and actively conducting initiatives to share, particularly through OCP, its experiences, expertise, and best practices, showing unwavering commitment to collective progress of the continent, stated Sadiki.

The Generation Green 2020-2030 strategy places soil health in the top of priorities, recognizing its central role in ensuring sustainable productivity, through establishing bases for eco-efficient agriculture, through continued investments in agricultural water management and soil conservation practices and technologies, he added.

Today’s context requires a more inclusive and comprehensive initiative to strengthen the resilience and sustainability of our continent food systems, pleaded the Minister, stressing that this necessitates a strong governance framework, supported by scientific consistency and strategic partnerships, to raise soil health as a strategic must within Africa’s sustainable development agenda.

The Minister expressed Morocco’s firm support to the soil initiative for Africa and its plan of action that should be adopted at the end of this summit.

The ministerial preparatory meeting opened on Tuesday, ahead of the Africa Fertilizer and Soil Health Summit organized by the African Union (AU) and the Kenyan government, which will bring together African heads of state, senior government officials, private sector players and representatives of civil society organizations on Thursday.

The Summit will provide a comprehensive review of the state of soil health in Africa, and propose solutions to realign strategies deployed to boost soil productivity, for higher and more sustainable yields, at the service of the African citizen.

The Summit will adopt  a Ten-Year Action Plan, providing concrete recommendations for action by African leaders and stakeholders over the next ten years.

This Action Plan should guide new policies and future investments aimed at enabling farmers to contribute to restoring soil health and increasing the yield and profitability of fertilizers.

About Khalid Al Mouahidi 4410 Articles
Khalid Al Mouahidi : A binational from the US and Morocco, Khalid El Mouahidi has worked for several american companies in the Maghreb Region and is currently based in Casablanca, where he is doing consulting jobs for major international companies . Khalid writes analytical pieces about economic ties between the Maghreb and the Mena Region, where he has an extensive network