Transformation of agri-food systems: Mohamed Sadiki speaks with the DG of FAO

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The Minister of Agriculture, Maritime Fisheries, Rural Development and Water and Forests, Mohamed Sadiki, met on Wednesday in Rabat with the Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Qu Dongyu, visiting Morocco for the 33rd session of the FAO Regional Conference for Africa (ARC33), scheduled for April 18-20.

These discussions focused on the progress made by Morocco in terms of sustainable production, particularly in the agricultural, forestry and fishing sectors, as part of the implementation of three national sectoral strategies, namely “Green Generation” for the development of the agricultural sector, “Halieutis” for the development of the fishing sector and “Forêts du Maroc” for the development of the forestry sector.

During this meeting, the two parties focused on the cooperation strategy between the Kingdom of Morocco and the FAO aimed at strengthening agri-food systems at the national and African scale, while reaffirming their common vision and their commitment to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

In a press statement following these talks, Mr. Sadiki said that the two parties discussed the partnership between Morocco and the FAO, as well as the national strategies implemented in different sectors.

The discussions also focused on future prospects for development and cooperation, as well as the question of the transformation of agri-food systems under the effect of climate change, said the minister.

For his part, the DG of FAO welcomed the excellent relations between the Kingdom of Morocco and the UN Organization, expressing his gratitude for Morocco’s hospitality and its proactive role in regional dynamics, particularly in matters of South-South cooperation.

Accompanied by the minister, the FAO DG visited the National Fishing Vessel Monitoring Center (CNSNP), a strategic instrument for the sustainable management of fishery resources and the security of Morocco’s maritime activities. The latter illustrates the Kingdom’s commitment to preserving its fishery resources and oceans for future generations.

The visit to the National Institute of Agronomic Research (INRA) allowed us to inquire about the Medium-Term Research Program (PRMT) 2021-2024, the selection scheme for improving cereals, cereal varieties recently included in the official catalog and varieties of barley seeds developed.

The delegation also visited the cereal quality laboratory as well as the gene bank of the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA). The delegation’s tour continued with a visit to the university veterinary hospital center of the Hassan II Agronomic and Veterinary Institute (IAV), which is the first on the African continent.

This meeting was held on the eve of the kick-off of ARC33 where 54 delegations, including more than 40 led by African Ministers of Agriculture, will meet in Rabat to define priorities with FAO for both coming years, with the aim of achieving transformative and sustainable change in agri-food systems across the continent.

It should be recalled that Morocco will chair the FAO Regional Conference for Africa for two consecutive years.

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