The partnership will unlock opportunities for African farmers to improve agricultural productivity and soil health through the use of customized fertilizers and sustainable farming practices.

MARRAKECH, October 11, 2023 – The World Bank and the OCP Group today announced a game changing partnership to support farmers in West Africa and the Sahel.

At the World Bank and IMF Annual Meetings in Marrakech, the OCP Chairman Mostafa Terrab and World Bank Vice President for Western and Central Africa Ousmane Diagana signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to foster cooperation and programs benefitting five million farmers in Benin, Guinea, Mali, and Togo, covering 10 million hectares. This cooperation aims at accelerating investments and reforms to make fertilizers more accessible and affordable to farmers. “These projects are an important step towards unlocking Africa’s potential in global food security,” said OCP Group’s Chairman and CEO, Mr. Mostafa Terrab. “The goal is to drive a just and sustainable agricultural transition, by widening the access of farmers in West Africa to customized fertilizers that nourish the soil and improve crop yields, which in turn enhances the livelihoods of farmers, thereby contributing to African development and prosperity.”

This is a critical partnership to help achieve the commitments made by the Ministries of Agriculture and Food Security of member countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in the Lomé Declaration endorsed in May 2023.

“Both our institutions believe in accelerating investments and reforms to support a resilient agriculture that promotes sustainable development and creates jobs. This partnership between the World Bank and the OCP Group is turning the Lomé Declaration into action,” said Ousmane Diagana, World Bank Vice President for Western and Central Africa.

The partnership will focus on five areas of cooperation: (i) Improving soil health and fertility through digital soil mapping analysis and customized fertilization; (ii) Establishing agricultural technology and service centers to train and support smallholder farmers; (iii) Launching a Digital Farming School program to foster local capacities and entrepreneurship to transform the agri-food sector; (iv) Strengthening the capacity of ECOWAS to operationalize its Roadmap on fertilizers and soil health; and (v) Supporting the establishment of a Regional Center for Soil Health and Fertility management in West Africa hosted by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA).

Under the partnership, both institutions reaffirm their commitment to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, in particular SDG 2 on hunger and food security, and SDG 13 on climate change.

OCP Group helps feed a growing global population by providing it with the essential elements for soil fertility and plant growth. With a century of expertise and a turnover of more than US$ 11.3 billion in 2022, OCP is the world leader in plant nutrition solutions and phosphate-based fertilizers. Headquartered in Morocco and present on five continents, OCP Group has approximately 20,000 employees and works closely with more than 350 customers around the world. OCP recently launched a new green investment strategy, dedicated to increasing fertilizer production and investing in renewable energy. The strategy foresees an overall investment of approximately $13 billion over the period 2023-2027, which will enable the Group to use 100% renewable energy by 2027 and achieve full carbon neutrality by 2040. The strategy also aims to reach a water desalination capacity of 560 million m3 in 2026 and to increase the production of green fertilizers. The Group is firmly convinced that leadership and profitability are synonymous with social responsibility and sustainable development. Its strategic vision sits at the junction of these two dimensions.

The World Bank provides financing, global knowledge, and long-term commitment to help low- and middle-income countries end poverty, achieve sustainable growth, and invest in opportunity for all. We comprise the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the world’s largest development bank, and the International Development Association (IDA), one of the largest sources of funding for the world’s poorest countries. With the other World Bank Group institutions as well as partners across the public and private sectors, we are helping build solutions to the global challenges of the 21st century in all major sectors of development. A world where no one lives in poverty, and everyone has the opportunity for a better life is within our reach.

In Western and Central Africa, the World Bank focuses on strengthening the social contract, bolstering job creation and economic transformation, improving human capital, empowering women, and boosting climate resilience.