CSIR collaborates with Moroccan OCP to formulate fertiliser for increased yields

BY: Doreen Hammond

OCP, a mineral fertiliser manufacturing company in Morocco is collaborating with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to formulate customised fertiliser for Ghanaian soils in order to increase yields.

As a start, the two institutions have collaborated to conduct trials on rice production with the company’s formulation which has led to a 37 per cent more yield.

The Managing Director of OCP, Mr Moustapha El Ouafi, made this known when a group of 17 journalists from Africa met him at the company’s headquarters in Cassablanca, Morocco on Tuesday.

Mr El Ouafi said the company was committed to making Africa, the laboratory of fertiliser of the future which was key to the development of agriculture in Africa and the world.

He said Africa was lagging behind in the use of fertilisers even though that was necessary if it had to grow more food to feed its growing population. This has become necessary in view of dwindling arable lands as a result of increased human activity.

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The MD said the company, which was almost a century old, had invested $8billion dollars in increasing its capacity since 2014 by investing in slurry pipelines and a more environmentally friendly and sustainable way of production including the recycling of water.

These measures, Mr El Ouafi explained had led to saving costs in energy and man power among others.

The journalists visited the company’s biggest mining site in Khourigba to see at first hand how mining operations were carried out.

The company reclaims areas where it has mined phosphate, planting trees and still stores soil and rocks from which phosphate has been mined, for the use of the future generations.

The journalists visited the company’s oldest mining site which is now a media library constructed by the company for the community and the general public. It has kept some aspects of the mine to serve as a museum

On Wednesday, the journalists toured the companies fertiliser manufacturing site at Jorf Lasfer and the Port where it ships its products.

Morocco has the largest deposit of phosphorus in the world with a phosphate rock deposit of more than 70per cent of the World’s deposits.
Phosphorus represents 25 per cent of the nutrients needed by all plants and living things and needed for plant growth.