AFRICA – The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation, member of the Islamic Development Bank Group and OCP Africa, a subsidiary of OCP SA, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) focusing on strategic funding, innovation and capacity building of Agriculture in Africa.

ITFC was established with the purpose of advancing trade among Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member countries to contribute to the overarching goal of improving socioeconomic conditions of the people across the world.

The partnership will increase collaboration between ITFC and OCP Africa in various areas including smallholder farmer training on sound agricultural practices, soil testing and fertility management to support better yields.

In addition to that, it will focus on innovation and digitalization tools to modernize agricultural practices and capacity building and support of young farmers for sustainable and inclusive development.

Commenting on the MoU, OCP Africa’s CEO, Karim Lotfi Senhadji, stated, “The agreement with ITFC will support efforts to train farmers on best farming practices, test soils for accurate fertilizer recommendations, facilitate access to financing and improve access to markets.”

OCP Africa is a leading global provider of phosphate and its derivatives based in Morocco.

They produce fertilizer solutions customized to local conditions and crop needs and works with partners in many different African governments, non-profits and private enterprises to connect farmers to agricultural services, knowledge and resources they need in order to prosper.

The services provided by ITFC in the agricultural sector, both in terms of trade financing and tactical support, has expanded significantly over the past years, targeting critical areas of the value chain, from farm input to processing, pre-export, and export.

In 2018, ITFC trade finance approvals for the food & agriculture sector amounted to US$749.6 million, representing 14.4% of the total trade finance portfolio, a 71% increase compared to the previous year.

In addition to increasing agricultural productivity, ITFC and OCP Africa will jointly introduce a new “OCP School lab” campaign in Senegal in November 2019 reports APO Group.

A flagship program of OCP Africa, OCP School Lab is an innovative program aimed at increasing the yields and the incomes of smallholder’s farmers on strategic crops by offering a full set of agri-services.

The agri-services include, interactive training sessions with live demos on good agricultural practices and animated videos in local dialects for higher impact, soil-testing using latest innovations (X-rays, big data and machine learning) and live information on soil needs and fertilizer recommendations.