by Rosemary Nzuki
Morocco, 13 December 2019…The International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) signed an agreement for future joint research with the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) in Morocco.
Going forward, the UM6P and the Alliance between Bioversity International and CIAT will work to initiate cooperation in research, education, and outreach with the aim of contributing to the advancement of science to address the challenges of sustainable agricultural intensification globally.
“With this partnership, we affirm our commitment to agricultural transformation in Africa through deploying cutting-edge science for impact,” said Adebisi Araba, the regional director for CIAT-Africa. “We are proud to formalise our relationship with the UM6P, a world-class institution, dedicated to improving the quality of life for Africans and the rest of the world. We look forward to growing this partnership and firming the bonds of collaboration and innovation between our institutions.”
The Vice President of UM6P, Karim El Aynaoui, on the other hand noted that “This partnership is part of the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University’s global research strategy and commitment to contribute to the continent development. Sustainable intensification, food security and agricultural adaptation to climate change are among the major challenges facing the continent’s development, challenges that cannot be tackled without joint scientific efforts and collaborative research at the national, continental, and global levels. Joining scientific and research capabilities of Mohammed VI Polytechnic University with CIAT, which is part of the CGIAR international research system in agriculture, is one step in this direction.”
Global agriculture is facing numerous challenges, many of which stem from climate change, unsustainable practices and under-investment. CIAT and UM6P plan to promote cooperation in research, education, and outreach for agricultural mitigation and development in Africa. Together, they are seeking to harness their research expertise and financial resources in the following areas:
- Soil fertility (diagnostics, critical values, and recommendations for nutrient and water use efficiencies)
- Irrigation water economics and water control,
- Agricultural sector Economics and economic modelling
- Determinants of yield gaps, determinants of fertilizer demand crop modeling
- Climate resilience
- Agricultural risk management and
- Agricultural finance.
The Alliance and UM6P will work together to exchange of information on science and technology, synthesize data on joint projects and write scientific papers. In addition, there will be opportunities for both institutions for exchanges between graduate students and post-doctoral fellows, faculty and scientific staff. To build the capacities for both institutions, there will opportunities to support curricula development and pedagogy, organization of joint training programs, seminars, symposia, workshops and conferences. Joint research projects will be carried out with access to laboratory facilities, field sites, or infrastructure that is of mutual interest to support the collaboration.
The agreement takes place on 13 December 2019 with the hope that it will unlock the potential Africa’s potential to not only feed the world but also bring prosperity for all farmers.