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UM6P, OCP’s Al Moutmir Program Extends Agricultural Footprint by 11,500 Hectares


The Al Moutmir program, an initiative seeking to boost agricultural yield in Morocco, is set to expand the area covered by its direct seeding program by over 11,500 hectares in the forthcoming 2023-2024 agricultural season.

The initiative is spearheaded by Morocco’s phosphate giant OCP Group and the Mohammed VI Polytechnique University (UM6P). The program aims to help Moroccan agriculture adapt to the challenges posed by climate change and contribute to the national plan of cultivating one million hectares using direct seeding by 2030.

UM6P unveiled yesterday the program’s agricultural campaign for the 2023-24 season, saying that it seeks to extend its cultivated hectares bringing the total area since the program’s launch to more than 36,500 hectares.

The expansion will encompass more than 130 localities and 26 provinces, spanning diverse agro-climatic zones. Over 70 Professional Organizations (OP) and more than 4,300 farmers will benefit from this initiative.

OCP and UM6P initiated the Al Moutmir program in October 2019 in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and the National Institute for Agronomic Research (INRA), in partnership with several national agricultural associations and cooperatives.

The program aims to support and accelerate the widespread adoption of direct seeding nationwide as a key element in Morocco’s transition to agro-ecological agriculture.

Direct seeding involves using no-till seeders, preserving soil quality, water reserves, and boosting soil microbiota. This technique has been recommended by various national institutions and partners, including the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Rural Development, and Water and Forests, as well as the INRA.

The program is designed to support a wide range of annual crops in Morocco, including cereals and legumes. It also aims to explore other high-potential crops such as oilseeds.

To support this campaign, over 584 demonstration platforms for cereals and legumes dedicated to direct seeding have been scheduled. This includes optimal technical guidance and a scientific protocol designed to facilitate technology transfer and assist farmers in adopting best agricultural practices, including soil analysis, customized fertilization, integrated pest management, harvest, and storage.

Under the initiative, a tailored training program has been established to help farmers and professional organizations in accessing the expertise of seasoned agronomists.

The training covers various technical aspects related to the direct seeding system, including selecting cereal varieties, seeder adjustments, managing crop residues, suitable crop rotations, and best harvesting practices.

The statement noted that this program is fully digital, using data collected from farmers to enrich the database on direct seeding implementation in Morocco. This approach facilitates real-time decision-making and tracks the progress of direct seeding platforms.

The accumulated agronomic and economic knowledge is made accessible to the scientific, academic, and economic ecosystem to offer tailored solutions to farmers who adopt this system.

In addition to supporting farmers, the program offers technical training in agricultural machinery for young entrepreneurs and tractor operators who are members of professional organizations. Entrepreneurship training is also provided to encourage young people to offer agricultural services.

To expand the adoption of direct seeding in new areas, Al Moutmir is mobilizing 23 new direct seeding machines for this campaign, including two in Moulay Yaacoub, aiming to cover 8,500 hectares in the Fes-Meknes region.

Source: Morocco World News

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