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Morocco lays the seeds for Africa's agricultural revolution

Like the rest of the world, Morocco is grappling with climate change and scientists in the country are exploring ways to develop more resilient and sustainable agriculture. Research and development has become a top priority for many African universities. In Morocco, the Secretary-General of the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University says the innovation being done should enable Africa to become a food secure continent in the future.

"The ambition of this university is to create a framework where young Africans can assimilate the concepts and notions of technology and adapt them into reality on the ground. Technology is global, but innovation is local. We want to offer a space for these young people so they can take charge of Africa’s development,” says Secretary-General Hicham el Habti.

One of the university’s innovation hubs specializes in smart farming. One of the University’s innovation hubs is an experimental farm. The centre specializes in so-called 'smart farming' - harnessing technology and data processing to improve cultivation.

Aerodrive Engineering Services is one of the hub's startups. It provides consulting services to farmers, using drones to detect pest insects, nutrient deficiencies or water stress. "These techniques have proven their effectiveness in several countries, and in my opinion it is only a matter of time before such methods are essential to remain competitive at an international level," explains the firm's CEO, Soufiane Amaldi. Much of the experimental farm's research aims to address issues affecting productivity, such as soil degradation, loss of biodiversity, and disease.

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