2019 Asia/Pacific Winner

Promagri - Casablanca, Morocco

For almost 70 years, Promagri has helped the local agricultural community throughout Morocco.

Since its beginnings in 1950, Promagri has been a leading player in the Moroccan agricultural input distribution market. In addition to a wide range of seeds, fertilizers, and plant protection products of prestigious manufacturers, including Corteva Agriscience, the Casablanca-based company provides technical assistance and ground coaching to all growers’ categories through its 11 regional agencies.

”Promagri’s focus is always to be proactive toward tomorrow’s challenges and to support agricultural development programs set by both large exporting growers and the government at local scale for small growers,” El Hajoui Ahmed, Business Manager, says. In addition to quality and efficacy, the company includes environmental footprint as a criterion for the selection of products to register in the Moroccan market. It conducts trainings and workshops during the introduction and development of all products.

Providing technical assistance and ground coaching to all of its growers is key for the company.

“Moroccan agriculture is very diversified,” Ahmed says, “and as Promagri is involved in all regions and on all crops, we are facing many challenges — including environmental ones — on a daily basis.”

To illustrate, Morocco was among the nations that adhered to the 1992 Montreal Protocol for the elimination of methyl bromide. With the phasing out of the ozone-depleting chemical, the country’s agriculture was under threat because growers lacked an alternative for nematodes and other soilborne pests. So, Promagri took the lead to find a solution along with its historical partner, formerly Dow AgriSciences and now Corteva.

Promagri launched Condor F (1,3-Dichlorpropene) to the Moroccan market, providing an efficient tool for the management of soilborne pests, with a better ecological profile than methyl bromide. In addition to the product registration, the launch strategy incorporated many actions and initiatives, including seminars and focus groups for growers and technicians to highlight the harming effects of methyl bromide and the need to start using alternative solutions for soil disinfection.

“We are glad to be in a long-term and historical partnership with Corteva, that is committed to safer agriculture for the grower, the consumer, and the environment,” says El Hajoui Ahmed.

While most Moroccan farmers are aware of the importance of environmental respect in the production process, small local growers face potentially greater financial challenges in taking the steps needed. “Promagri’s technical team has a duty to highlight the economic return on investment behind the sustainable solutions brought by the company,” and it did so via demo trials that showed the profitability of Condor F use.

“Searching and introducing product lines with high added values to the growers’ base and with the lowest environmental impact is always our key challenge,” Ahmed says. “The introduction of Condor F helped farmers to keep their competitiveness while managing soilborne pests with the same efficacy and while using more ecological product than methyl bromide.”

As consumers have also grown increasingly attentive to crop protection products sprayed on plants and residues on fruits and vegetables, “we always push growers to spray exclusively registered plant protection products (PPPs) on the concerned crops with the appropriate rate and approach shown by Promagri teams,” Ahmed adds. “We maintain continuous communication with exporters, local laboratories, and Corteva’s food chain teams to monitor the development of our PPP residues in the whole value chain.”