New strategic partnership in Morocco

May 31, 2011 at 8:45 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

H.E. Aziz Akhannouch, Morocco’s Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, has commended efforts to broaden Morocco-ICARDA research collaboration. He was speaking to an ICARDA delegation led by Dr Mahmoud Solh, ICARDA Director General. The meeting, and other discussions with national research leaders, took place during Dr Solh’s visit to Morocco, 27-30 April.

H.E. Aziz Akhannouch (left), Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, is honored for his efforts to promote agricultural R&D across the region

Prof. Mohammed Badraoui, Director General of the Institut National de la Recherché Agronomique (INRA), together with senior staff from INRA and the Ministry of Agriculture, identified a number of priority areas where collaboration could be expanded:

  • Expanding legume cultivation in Morocco to diversify farming systems, increase farm income and reduce imports
  • Establishing a regional research platform for rainfed cereal-based systems, with Morocco taking the lead in wheat
  • Strengthening the Settat genebank for better conservation and utilization of biodiversity
  • Strengthening INRA capacity in biotechnology research at national and regional centers, particularly on molecular markers and genetic transformation for stress tolerance
  • Promoting conservation agriculture
  • Integrated crop-rangeland-livestock systems and value-added livestock products in the marginal and mountainous areas of Morocco.

Farmer’s field in Settat region; new crop varieties being tested under a INRA-ICARDA food security project

A new partner – the OCP Innovative Fund for Agriculture – expressed interest in a collaborative project on food legumes, jointly with INRA-Morocco, ICARDA, the Indian Society of Agricultural Professionals, and ICRISAT. This will build on OCP’s ongoing projects with INRA, and link research in Morocco and India to expand production of legumes, which are an important staple food in both countries.

Dr Solh was invited to deliver the keynote address at the International Agriculture Fair of Morocco, the country’s premier showcase for new agricultural technologies. This annual event draws participants from more than 40 countries. Dr Solh’s presentation described ICARDA’s work in drylands and its collaborative programs in Morocco. Dr Solh and Dr Mohamed El Mourid, Coordinator of ICARDA’s North Africa Regional Program, also visited research stations and farmers’ fields in Meknes, Merchouch and Settat, where INRA-ICARDA collaborative projects are being implemented.


1 Comment »

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  1. Dear Sir
    Please advise If ICARDA or their parent CIGAR institute provide knowledge & financial support to help establishing a Jatropha projects in Morocco , possibly through BIA. or a specific EU council .
    We look forward receiving information on JATROPHA plant project for Arid regions . & appreciate being guided to contact an office or person in charge
    Many thanks for sending corresponding links, as well as internet print out on the above matter
    Ehsan H.Hajar

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