At a recently concluded annual review and planning meeting (2014-2015) of the India-Morocco/OCPF Food Legume Initiative’s project entitled ‘Increasing food legumes production by small-scale farmers to strengthen food and nutritional security through the adoption of improved technologies and governance within South-South cooperation’, achievements for lentil, grasspea and chickpea in some Indian states were shared. This initiative is a collaborative involvement of ICARDA, INRA-Morocco, ICRISAT and M. S. Swaminathan Foundation.
Overall, a good crop was recorded in West Bengal, except in some zones where the crop was affected by excessive rains and subsequent water logging. Similarly, in Madhya Pradesh, yield was affected by heavy rains and hailstorm events that occured more than twice. Yet, the overall yields of lentil, grasspea and chickpea were satisfactory.
Along with being an exemplary case of partnership between two developing countries, this project is being funded by the private sector. Office Chèrifien des Phosphates Foundation (OCPF), which carries out the societal commitment of the OCP Group within a south-south cooperation context, has a deep rooted commitment to protecting global food security, through its role in sustainably increasing agricultural productivity.
India and Morocco, through South to South cooperation have joined their efforts and expertise to boost food legumes production in their respective countries. The goal of such an initiative is to improve food security and nutrition, soil health, income growth, employment opportunities and farmers’ organizations and empowerment.
Such partnerships hold much prospective for agricultural development. This potential needs to be leveraged further. Currently, there is an ongoing discussion to expand this partnership to Bangladesh and East Africa.