Bidra Innovation Ventures partners with Moroccan agriculture industry players launching US$50m agritech fund

MOROCCO – Bidra Innovation Ventures, a US-based venture fund, has launched a US$50 million agritech fund with the backing of Morocco’s Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) and OCP mining group.

The fund aims to identify, nurture, and empower innovative solutions to boost agricultural ecosystems worldwide.

It is expected to begin operating in April 2022, over a period of five years where investments would be mainly made in businesses specializing in crop inputs, digital agriculture services, and agri-market solutions.

In partnering with the most promising entrepreneurs in agriculture and alliances with innovative ventures, Bidra will prioritize disruptive, scalable start-ups and empower them to benefit from the stimulating environment, cutting-edge know-how, market access, established brand and historic experience of the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University and the OCP Group.

In the press release, UM6P’s president Hicham El Habti spoke on the university’s pivotal role in strengthening research and innovation to tackle emerging challenges related to agriculture.

“UM6P brings together a full innovation ecosystem of the best researchers, first-class international academic and innovation partnerships,” said UM6P’s president Hicham El Habti.

“We see Bidra’s partnerships with start-ups and the agricultural innovation ecosystem at large as key catalysts to achieving our objective to contribute to the transformation of agriculture towards greater sustainability.”

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Meanwhile, Amar Singh, President of Bidra Innovation Ventures, highlighted that having UM6P and OCP as sole investors will provide Bidra with long-term capital alongside access to several useful resources in the agritech field.

Mr Hicham El Habti, President of UM6P and Board Chair of Bidra added, “UM6P is dedicated to research and innovation and brings together a full innovation ecosystem comprised of the best researchers, first-class international academic and innovation partnerships, as well as several laboratories and capabilities to test and improve new technologies.

“We see Bidra’s partnerships with startups and the agricultural innovation ecosystem at large as key catalysts to achieving our objective to contribute to the transformation of agriculture towards greater sustainability.”

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Morocco currently faces a drought that threatens food security in the region. The country is looking for initiatives and investors to help solve the looming threat.

The North African country in collaboration with the World Bank and other financial institutions has installed irrigation plants to help improve crop production.

In addition, the country has opted to desalination of seawater and reuse of treated wastewater in agricultural space in a bid to increase the volumes available for farming.

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