Mohammed VI Polytechnic University

A partnership between research institutions from the United Kingdom and Morocco to build a resilient agricultural future for Africa

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A partnership between research institutions from the United Kingdom and Morocco to build a resilient agricultural future for Africa

Casablanca, March 4, 2019 - Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P), Morocco, and two of the leading agricultural research institutions in the UK, Rothamsted Research and Cranfield University, have announced an international academic partnership.


This project will be supported by OCP Group, a major player in the global fertilizer market. This announcement is a corollary to the growing relationship between the United Kingdom and the Kingdom of Morocco aimed at strengthening bilateral collaboration in the fields of education, research and innovation.

About 20 early career agricultural researchers will receive endorsement in both Morocco and the United Kingdom through the partnership.


It’s noteworthy that:

  •  Mohammed VI Polytechnic University is a university focused on research, innovation and entrepreneurship that aspires to meet Africa's challenges in Food Security, Industrialization and Health and build cornerstone knowledge between Morocco, Africa and the world.
  • Rothamsted Research is a world-class, non-profit research center focused on strategic agricultural science for the benefit of farmers and society around the world.
  • Cranfield University was awarded its fifth Queen's Anniversary Award in 2017 in recognition of its global impact on education, with large-scale data on soils and the environment for long-term sustainable use of natural resources. Cranfield University enrolled its first Moroccan agricultural student in 1966.

The initial phase of this partnership will focus on seven agricultural research projects and the creation of a doctoral training center to support the development of the next generation of Moroccan scientists and engineers.

At the signing ceremony, Hicham El Habti, General Secretary of Mohammed VI Polytechnic University, said: "Thanks to its research and development program and in close collaboration with UM6P, OCP is developing fertilizers specific to the needs of African crops and soils, as well as service models adapted to African farmers for a reliable and affordable access to these data and derived products. This vital partnership with Rothamsted and Cranfield University will help accelerate this strategy to help African farmers become not only more productive but also more prosperous".

Achim Doberman, Managing Director of Rothamsted Research, attested: "The development of sustainable agriculture across Morocco and all of Africa is vital to the continent's food security and economic growth. The challenges are tremendous. However, by nurturing the talent and enthusiasm of young scientists, I am convinced that there can be a bright future for African farmers and their environment by combining the cutting-edge expertise of Rothamsted and Cranfield with the dynamism and vision of the UM6P. We can play a major role in achieving this goal and we are delighted to bring to bear our unique expertise".

Professor Leon A. Terry, Cranfield University's Director of Environment and Agri-Food, stated: This partnership brings together institutions that congregate the best of plant and soil science in the UK and Mohammed VI Polytechnic University, an institution with high scientific and entrepreneurial ambitions for Morocco and the rest of Africa. As a university proud of its international openness, we are excited to leverage Cranfield's world-renowned expertise to support the development of agricultural research in Africa".


About the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University


Located in the municipality of Benguerir in the heart of the Green City, Mohammed VI Polytechnic University is an institution with international standards focused on research and innovation. Founded for research, the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University offers an exceptional environment for advanced training and academic excellence.

Mohammed VI Polytechnic University aims to position Morocco as an international platform of innovation to meet the major challenges and concerns of the African continent. The University is open to the world and forges partnerships of international standing. By establishing itself as a hub of research, high-level training and innovation, the university campus ambitions to become a true bridgehead between Morocco, Africa and the World.

By contributing to the training of a new generation of Moroccan and African researchers, entrepreneurs and leaders, the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University is committed to positioning Morocco as a country at the forefront of Science.

For more information:

  • Media Office, Mohammed VI Polytechnic University. T: +212 525 07 31 21
  • Email: [email protected]

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