The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation, (ITFC, International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation) (ITFC-IDB.org), a member of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group, and OCP Africa ) (OCPAfrica.com), a subsidiary of OCP SA, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will cater towards strategic funding, innovation and capacity building measures to increase agricultural production yields and income levels for Africa’s smallholder farmers. The agreement was signed between Mr Karim Lotfi Senhadji, CEO, OCP Africa and ITFC CEO, Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol.
The MoU 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; 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, Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO, ITFC, said that the cooperation with OCP Africa is in line with ITFC’s mandate to support the development of strategic value chains in countries member of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). “The services provided by ITFC in the agricultural sector, both in terms of trade financing and tactial support, has expanded significantly over the past years, targeting critical areas of the value chain, from farm input to processing, pre-export, and export. The sector is also one of the value chains that is ready for innovation and SME development.”
OCP Africa’s CEO, Karim Lotfi Senhadji said, “The smallholder farmer is central to OCP Africa’s strategy to support the transition of farming communities from subsistence farming to modern, sustainable agri-business. Our aim is to strengthen the continent’s agriculture ecosystems thus enabling African farmers to prosper. 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”.
ITFC and OCP Africa will jointly introduce a new “OCP School lab” campaign in Senegal in November 2019. 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:
A School: interactive training sessions with live demos on good agricultural practices and animated videos in local dialects for higher impact
A mobile Lab: Soil-testing using latest innovations (X-rays, big data and machine learning) and live information on soil needs and fertilizer recommendations
ITFC has been providing significant support to ensure food security in Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2018, 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. Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for 50% of ITFC’s food & agriculture sector financing extended in 2018.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC).
About OCP Africa:
OCP Africa (www.OCPAfrica.com) is a subsidiary of OCP Group is a leading global provider of phosphate and its derivatives with almost 100 years of experience. Based in Morocco, OCP Africa, was created to work hand-in-hand with farmers to contribute to unlocking Africa’s vast agricultural potential, in 2016. OCP 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. With a presence across the continent, OCP understands the diversity and complex needs of Africa’s soils, and is committed to offering the right fertilizer products at the right time, in the right place, at the right price.
For more information go to: www.OCPAfrica.com
About the International Islamic Trade and Finance Corporation (ITFC):
The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) (ITFC-IDB.org) is a member of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group. It was established with the purpose of advancing trade among OIC member countries, which would ultimately contribute to the overarching goal of improving socioeconomic conditions of the people across the world. Commenced operations in January 2008, ITFC has since consolidated all trade finance businesses that used to be handled by various windows within the IsDB Group. Earning the A1 rating by Moody’s reflects the Corporation’s efficiency in service delivery by responding swiftly to customer needs in a market-driven business environment.
Since 2008, ITFC has provided more than US$45 billion of trade financing to OIC Member Countries, making the Corporation the leading provider of trade solutions for OIC Member Countries’ needs. With a mission of being a catalyst for trade development among OIC Member Countries and beyond, the Corporation helps entities in Member Countries gain better access to trade finance and provides them with the necessary trade-related capacity building tools, which would enable them to successfully compete in the global market.
Linkedin: International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC)
ITFC CEO Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol and CEO OCP Africa Mr. Karim Lotfi Senhadji sign MOU to improve agriculture in Africa