A delegation from the Dutch embassy in Morocco paid a working visit to the Polytechnic University in Benguerir last week. This agricultural union is closely linked to the large phosphate company Office Cherifien des Phosphates (OCP). Morocco is home to more than half of the world's mineral phosphate reserves.
Two years ago, the Moroccan university signed an agreement with Wageningen UR for student exchange and research collaboration in agriculture. According to the Dutch agricultural council in Rabat, the phosphate factory OCP wants to collaborate with Dutch companies in the field of agricultural technology in Morocco.
On February 16 and 17, Ambassador Jeroen Roodenburg and some embassy colleagues visited the University Mohamed VI (UM6P), west of Marrakesh. The ultramodern university complex focuses on research and education in the field of sustainable agriculture as well as on the technical and environmental aspects of phosphate extraction.
The focus is on supporting countries in Africa in improving their agricultural systems, food security and rural development. The university therefore not only focuses on the technical aspects of agriculture, but also on the great diversity of cultural and social aspects of African agriculture. In addition to Morocco, the students also come from other African countries, often with a scholarship from phosphate company OCP.
The University pays special attention to the efficient use of water in agriculture, because water is a scarce resource in large parts of Africa, as well as in the Arab world. There is much to be gained in the field of efficient water use and precision agriculture, in which Dutch expertise is also welcome.
In this way, Moroccan, African and Dutch technologies can be combined to improve food systems and give farmers a good life, the embassy in Rabat reports.