Through the OCP, Morocco can provide the key to food security in Africa

OCP can help make Africa the continent of global food security, OCP Group Chief Executive Officer Mostafa Terrab told the Financial Times. Morocco, thus, could become the number 1 player in its continent to support agriculture through a personalization strategy.

While the OCP group already supplies 70% of fertilizers in Africa and is the leading producer of phosphate fertilizers in the world, its potential is even greater in the context of the war in Ukraine.

The group plans to sell 4 million tons of fertilizer in Africa in 2023, more than a quarter of its planned production, and plans a comprehensive program that includes training farmers in cooperation with multilateral donors.

The Financial Times (FT) explained in its issue that the OCP has also given more than 500,000 tons of fertilizer to smallholders in sub-Saharan countries, some of which is free and some at a reduced price.

“In Africa, we should be completely self-sufficient, and even export,” said the group’s CEO, affirming “the great opportunities are really on the continent”. Today, only 25% of OCP’s sales are made on the African continent.

But the group sees big for Africa and has already created a dedicated OCP Africa and special production units. The company intends to develop customized fertilizers adapted to specific African soils that reduce prices while maintaining better yields.

“Customization is less expensive because we use fewer nutrients. We don’t force farmers to buy what they don’t need”, explained Mr. Terrab. This soil customization has paid off with farmers in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Ghana.

For Mr. Terrab, “Morocco through its phosphate and Africa through its agricultural land hold the key to global food security”.

The Financial Times recalled that the OCP began to take an interest in the African market already in 2012, and other Moroccan companies also wanted to develop beyond the country’s borders, noting that this strategy has contributed to strengthening the soft power and influence of the Kingdom.

The FT also noted OCP’s profits in 2022, an operating profit which reached $3.65 billion for the first 9 months of the year, compared to $1.99 billion in 2021 for the same period, adds the publication.

He added that the consequences of the war in Ukraine showed the limits of European-made nitrogen fertilizers, the prices of which have increased significantly.

FT also spoke about the ambitions of the group, which aims for carbon neutrality by 2040 and which is now focusing on renewable energies and green hydrogen with an investment of 13 billion dollars.

In addition, in January 2023, rating agency Moody’s assigned the company a Baa3 investment grade credit rating for the first time.

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