OCP and the just transition
Founded in Morocco in 1920, OCP is a phosphate rock miner, phosphoric acid manufacturer and fertilizer producer. Starting with a single mine, their operations now span five continents, working throughout the agricultural value chain, from mining and manufacturing to education and community development. OCP is Morocco’s largest employer, with over 20,000 employees.
OCP aspires to a fair transition of food systems to net zero, through industry wide adoption of sustainable, regenerative agricultural practices to fight climate change.
The company believes that a fair transition also means leaving no one behind on the journey. The company supports smallholder farmers by guaranteeing them decent living wages, empowering them to become more resilient to changes in their environment.
OCP has funded several projects promoting regenerative agriculture to better farmer livelihoods and further a just transition.
“Sustainability is at the core of every decision we make. From transforming our processes to developing ways to do more with less, see how our approach helps us create a sustainable future for everyone.” – Jamila Adani, Director Farmer Centricity at Al Moutmir-OCP
Project spotlight: Al Moutmir
Launched in 2018, the Al Moutmir outreach initiative uses innovative and customized solutions to empower farmers to make real and sustainable improvements to their agricultural practices. It helps to build sustainable agricultural and food systems by assisting and providing farmers, cooperatives, and agri-entrepreneurs with solutions that enable them to increase their productivity while preserving natural resources.
A scientific approach is at the heart of the project. Al Moutmir uses best in class products and agricultural services (such as soil testing, training sessions and demonstration platforms) customized to the needs of their soil to provide farmers with bespoke solutions to enable them to make better use of their land and to optimize the use of inputs. This is supplemented with user-friendly technologies, as well as upskilling programs for farmers and rural women to equip communities with the tools they need to move from a subsistence-based type of farming, to a profitable and sustainable business.
Teams of more than 100 agronomist engineers are permanently located in fields, connecting and engaging with the local communities, learning from their close relationship with the ecosystem. This allows them to develop and introduce tailored agricultural solutions, encouraging farmers to be agile in an ever-changing ecosystem and bring out new solutions, adapted and affordable to all.
Outcome: Sustainable improvements to farmer livelihoods
Since its inception the initiative has so far supported directly more than 50,000 farmers across Morocco in increasing their productivity sustainably.
According to OCP statistics, the program has helped farmers improve the yield of certain crops by up to 21%, and increased farmers’ net margin by 23% to 34%, depending on the crops.
The initiative focuses on supporting farmers through integrated capacity-building programs to become “agri-preneurs”. It encourages them to view agriculture as a real business from which they can make profitable benefits year after year. The team of agronomists involved in the initiative work with farmers on a daily basis, providing agricultural training and demonstrations, as well as monitoring and support to ensure that best practices are implemented in a sustainable and bespoke way.
It is estimated that over 60,000 trainings on agricultural, managerial and soft skills for farmers, rural women cooperatives and young leaders has been provided since inception of the program.
“In-depth understanding is a key step. Working with farmers, understanding their challenges and then turning this into insights regarding products and services holds the key to success. We should come up with technological solutions that are farmer and people centric.” – Jamila Adani, Director Farmer Centricity at Al Moutmir-OCP
OCP have also developed a free of charge mobile application (@tmar) for all farmers across Morocco. The application provides farmers with technical, agronomic, and economic insights, ensuring they have up-to-date information to make the best decisions regarding how to use their land. This includes using weather forecasts and soil readings to help farmers determine optimum quantities of fertilizers to be used for certain crops. It is estimated that over 300,000 farmers have used this app.
Collaboration and transparency
Multiple stakeholder groups have come together as part of this initiative, including farmers, volunteers, agricultural organizations and academic institutes (INRA research institute, Institute of Agronomy & Veterinary Medicine). This has allowed sharing of best practices, key learnings and a robust approach towards tackling challenges faced along the way. All stakeholders have become true ambassadors of good agricultural practices and are paving the way for others to follow suit.