Morocco connects to Dutch Horticulture - World Horti Center

Morocco connects to Dutch horticulture

Opening of the Centre of Excellence Horticulture (CEH) in Agadir Morocco.

The opening of the Centre of Excellence Horticulture (CEH) on the campus of the University Institut Agronomique et Vétérinaire Hassan II (IAV) in Agadir Morocco on December 10, marked the start of new silk routes combining international knowledge and technology to develop the horticulture industry.

During the ceremony attended by the Moroccan Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Mohamed Sadiki and Dutch ambassador in Morocco Mr. Jeroen Roodenburg, the director of the IAV Prof Farid Lekjaa expressed the ambition to have impact with the CEH on the complete MENA region and Sub Sahara Africa.

With support from the Moroccan, Dutch and Israeli government the foundation of a campus is created, that should educate the current and next generations of professionals in challenges relating to water scarcity, energy transition and natural resources. Research will be done in cooperation with leading companies and universities around the globe.

In this first phase a 8.000 m2 glass greenhouse for research, education and training has been designed and constructed by the Dutch company HortiXS in collaboration with Moroccan partner HortiSud. The supervision and training of the management team of the greenhouse is in hands of HortiTech, renowned for the creation of World Horti Center.

Part of the CEH will be an ImpactCluster a Dutch government funded program, that will create access for and train Moroccan farmers in the eco efficient technologies showcased within the greenhouse, adapted to their personal situations. This program will be organized by Moroccan and Dutch knowledge institutes and private companies. Partners are a.o. APEFEL, Rijk Zwaan, Horti-Tech, Seed2Feed, Koppert, Jiffy, Growers United,, Ludvig Svensson, Metazet Formflex and Hoogendoorn.

The ImpactCluster will also create a robust link between the knowledge partners involved, IAV Hassan II, Leiden-Delft-Erasmus university alliance (LDE) and Inholland University of Applied Science. LDE and Inholland are connecting by means of the Learning Community of the Greenport Horti Campus located within World Horti Center, the Dutch education and research eco system, to the Moroccan. Already at the opening last Saturday a combined LDE-Inholland group of in total 10 students, with assignments linked to the CEH were present in Agadir.

The opening was in a joint effort co-hosted in French and English by Mariska Dreschler, GreenTech Global, Esserrhini Laraisse, APEFEL, and Dick Veerman, Foodlog. Emphasizing both on the importance of empowering the Moroccan growers, by providing the right knowledge and technology. To collectively deepen the understanding the challenges and opportunities related to the North African region the aim is to organize a GreenTech event in Morocco in the near future.

A first step in this knowledge inventory will be the Thesis Lab connected to World Horti Center starting in January 2023.