The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) under the auspices of the Arab Africa Trade Bridges (AATB) Program, has partnered with OCP Africa to support the Agribooster Program, which aims to meet rice farmers and improve agriculture value chains in Côte d’Ivoire.

Dr Mohamed Anouar Jamali, CEO of OCP Africa, an OCP Group subsidiary, and Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO of ITFC, signed the agreement in Rabat, Morocco.

The program will benefit 20,000 farmers. It serves as an end-to-end value chain solution that brings together all the conditions necessary for improving rice productivity and small farmers revenues, including the provision of high-quality fertilizers and hybrid seeds, training on good agricultural practices and soil fertility, as well as market linkages. The program will also serve to safeguard the health of the country’s farmers in the wake of COVID-19 through the provision of personal protective equipment to smallholder farms.

The CEO of ITFC, Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, highlighted the importance of this partnership, saying, “ITFC’s grant for the OCP Africa Agribooster program in Côte d’Ivoire aims to mitigate the economic impacts of COVID-19 and help boost global food supply chains whilst enhancing agricultural value chains in the country, especially under these difficult circumstances. African countries must work on securing their local agricultural production, to minimize their exposure to imports and advance food security for their populations. This grant will also cover the training of trainers to strengthen their capabilities through innovative training and digitalized technical assistance to ensure the sustainability of the program for future generations of farmers.”

Dr Mohamed Anouar Jamali, CEO of OCP Africa also added, “Covid-19 has exposed the limits of our current production models. The repercussions of the pandemic on food security call for new holistic models to produce enough food in Africa. The Agribooster program is a good example of an initiative designed to support African food systems to become more resilient, and we are glad to have ITFC as a strong partner in Côte d’Ivoire.”

The Agribooster program, which comes under the umbrella of OCP Africa and is dedicated to the sustainable development of agriculture, requires extensive training in good agricultural practices and regular monitoring throughout the year.

At the continent level, the Agribooster program has reached over 630,000 smallholder farmers across four countries (Ghana, Sénégal, Nigéria and Côte d’Ivoire), with an increase in their yield of up to 40% for leading farmers.