Africa’s Horticultural Congress Highlights Morocco’s Multi-Level Leadership

In an interview with MAP on the eve of the Pan-African Congress, slated to run from February 26 to March 1 in Marrakech, Hanafi highlighted Morocco’s emergence as a key player and a prominent model in the region, driven by its notable progress and achievements, particularly in export-oriented productions. The congress is organized by the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) under the auspices of the International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS).

Themed “Unlocking the Potential of Resilient Horticulture in Africa,” this flagship agricultural event, being held for the first time in North Africa, already reflects the significance and growth of the horticultural sector.

Hanafi, after shedding light on various actions and initiatives taken by Morocco for the development of the sector at the African level, indicated that the horticultural industry holds significant growth potential for both Morocco and the African continent.

He asserted that Morocco, rich in agro-climatic diversity, stands out with its agricultural varieties and, notably, its horticultural products.

Choosing Morocco to host such an event further solidifies its position as an essential player in African agriculture and horticulture, providing an opportunity for national scientists and researchers to access the latest knowledge, technologies, and best practices in horticulture in Africa and worldwide, Hanafi believed.

“In spite of challenges posed by climate change, including water scarcity, extreme temperatures, irregular precipitation, pests and diseases, soil degradation, etc., this sector presents significant opportunities,” he emphasized.

To address these challenges, he recommended a comprehensive approach involving investments in research and development, capacity building, and infrastructure improvement.

The horticultural sector, according to him, can significantly enhance food security in Africa through crop diversification, nutritional value enhancement, increased productivity, and income generation.

Adaptable to urban agriculture, this sector provides opportunities for sustainable farming practices and ensures stable and diversified food supply in both rural and urban areas.

Abdelhaq Hanafi has accumulated a rich professional career within the United Nations (FAO, IFAD, etc.), focusing on sustainable development, rural development, environmental protection, investments, economics, and natural resource management.

Pan-African Horticultural Congress President Abdelhaq Hanafi has underscored Morocco's pivotal role in the horticultural sector at regional, continental, and international levels, attributing it to the country's wealth and potential.
23 February 2024
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