OCP Africa and ITFC plan to launch the ‘OCP School Lab’ campaign in Senegal to introduce smallholder farmers to good agricultural practices and practical recommendations.
Rabat – The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), a member of the Islamic Development Bank Group signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Morocco’s OCP Africa to increase agricultural production yields and income levels for Africa’s smallholder farmers through strategic funding, innovation, and capacity-building measures.
The CEO of the OCP Africa Karim Lotfi Senhadji and the CEO of ITFC Hani Salem Sonbol signed the MoU on Monday, October 21.
Through the agreement, the two parties will strengthen their collaboration in various areas including training for smallholding farmers on sound agricultural practices, soil testing, and fertility management to support better yields.
The agreement will also cover innovation and digitalization tools to modernize agricultural practices, as well as capacity building and support of young farmers for sustainable and inclusive development.
Sonbol commented that cooperation with OCP Africa is in line with ITFC’s mandate to support the development of strategic value chains in countries member of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
“The services provided by ITFC in the agricultural sector, both in terms of trade financing and tactical support, has expanded significantly over the past years, targeting critical areas of the value chain, from farm input to processing, pre-export, and export,” said the ITFC CEO “The sector is also one of the value chains that are ready for innovation and SME development.”
Meanwhile, Senhadji stated that “the smallholder farmer is central to OCP Africa’s strategy to support the transition of farming communities from subsistence farming to modern, sustainable agri-business.”
He added that “the agreement with ITFC will support efforts to train farmers on best farming practices, test soils for accurate fertilizer recommendations, facilitate access to financing, and improve access to markets”.
ITFC and OCP Africa will jointly launch a new “OCP School lab” campaign in Senegal in November 2019.
OCP School Lab is an innovative program aimed at increasing smallholder farmers’ yields and incomes on strategic crops by offering a full set of agri-services.
ITFC has been providing significant support to ensure food security in Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2018, ITFC allocated $749.6 million to finance the food & agriculture sector, representing 14.4% of the total trade finance portfolio, a 71% increase compared to the previous year.
Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for 50% of ITFC’s food & agriculture sector financing in 2018.