Advancing Climate-Resilient Agriculture At SIAM 2024

Share this to :

Once a year, the Moroccan city of Meknes becomes the theater of the Salon International de l’Agriculture au Maroc (SIAM), one of the biggest agri-events in Africa. 

At SIAM 2024, themed “Climate and Agriculture: Towards Sustainable and Resilient Production Systems,” ICARDA’s delegation highlighted our pioneering research on climate-smart crops, the biodiversity conservation of our world-class genebank, the crucial role of women cooperatives for resilient agri-food systems, and the key role of young scientists in shaping tomorrow’s agricultural solutions in the face of accelerating climate change.

The delegation also showcased ICARDA’s significant contribution to “Generation Green 2020-2030”, a government-launched strategy to advance Morocco’s agricultural sector. This strategy serves as a guiding framework for ICARDA’s work in Morocco. At SIAM, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) partnered with ICARDA to showcase our collaborative innovations made possible via the support and partnership of Morocco’s Ministry of Agriculture through the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA Morocco) and other partners.

ICARDA-FAO Booth

We were thrilled and honored when during their tour of the exhibitor’s area, Moulay Hassan bin Mohammed, the Crown Prince of Morocco, and H.E. Prof. Mohamed Sadiki, Minister of Agriculture stopped at the FAO-ICARDA booth to discuss with our delegates and the FAO team collaborative efforts towards providing resilient livelihoods for Morocco farmers.

Crown Prince and MoA

Meanwhile, events co-hosted by ICARDA or with ICARDA participation were carried out throughout the conference.

At the High-Level Conference on Agricultural Research, hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Generation Green 2020 – 2030, ICARDA’s Director General, Aly Abousabaa, spoke about research orientation and organization of international and regional systems and complementarity with national agricultural research systems.

high level conference

 “For over 40 years, ICARDA and Morocco have safeguarded plant genetics, boosted climate-resilient crops, advanced agri-systems and agronomy, and empowered women and youth in agriculture. Here’s to many more years of fruitful collaboration,” he concluded.

At an ICARDA-hosted workshop entitled Strengthening the Resilience of Women in Agri-Food Systems Through Collectives, we discussed programs on local women’s cooperatives that ICARDA carries out in collaboration with FAO and Oxfam. These projects build on partnerships under the PRIMA MountainHER and Medwhealth projects, to target rural development alongside national institutions.

“In Arab rural areas, women’s empowerment is alarmingly low. Our research shows limited confidence, networking, and marketing opportunities, resulting in minimal income. Despite the challenges, women choose cooperatives over staying home,” said Dr. Dina Najjar, Senior Gender Scientist at ICARDA

women cooperatives event

 “Access to training on leadership and governance has enabled women cooperatives to improve their awareness of available services (training, credit, healthcare) and strengthen networking with services providers,” added Zakaria Nidkazza, Oxfam.

 A policy-science dialogue, “Conservation Agriculture and Climate Resilience in Morocco: Strategies and Opportunities for Wider Adoption,” was co-organized by Morocco’s Centre de Compétence en Changement Climatique (4C), the CGIAR initiatives CLIMBER, Excellence in Agronomy (EiA) and Fragility to Resilience (F2R) as well as ICARDA and INRA. Together these organizations aim to gather major stakeholders to draft the future scientific agenda for climate-resilient conservation agriculture in Morocco.

4C event

The event “Reaching 1 million Hectares of Conservation Agriculture Together,” organized by the Ministry of Agriculture, INRA, ONCA (Office National du Conseil Agricole), ICARDA, and the World Bank, with the involvement of universities, private partners, NGOs, farmers, and extension agents, showcased a pioneering conservation agriculture digital tool. Additionally, ONCA technicians specializing in direct seeding were awarded certificates for participating in training programs under CGIAR’s Excellence in Agronomy and ClimBER initiatives.

certificates

At the ICARDA-hosted event, “Young Scientists for Tomorrow’s Resilient Solutions”, in collaboration with the Mohamed VI Polytechnic University, the Faculty of Science Rabat, and the Hassan II University, six young researchers presented their innovations to shape the resilient agriculture of tomorrow.

Young Researchers

SIAM proved a productive opportunity for agri-research and development actors to meet and discuss challenges for dryland agriculture in the region, and the solutions that partnerships between stakeholders, including farmers associations and women’s groups can generate. As climate change accelerates, it is only through these collaborative efforts that vital groundbreaking science can be delivered to farmers across the region and beyond.

Share this to :