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State Secretary Bleser opens German-Moroccan Centre of Excellence for Agriculture

Peter Bleser, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture, and Azis Akhannouch, the Moroccan Minister of Agriculture and Marine Fisheries, have together opened the German-Moroccan Centre of Excellence for Agriculture in the Moroccan province of Sidi Slimane, with many of the economic partners involved in the project and representatives of authorities and institutions attending the event.

Bleser visited the SIAM agricultural fair in Meknès beforehand and was impressed by the dynamic agricultural development in Morocco. In 2008, the government launched an extensive reform programme entitled "Plan Maroc Vert". The programme contains strategies to increase yields and protect resources by using modern agro-technologies and providing farmers with additional vocational training. The efficient and sustainable farming of cereals, potatoes and feed plays a central role in respect of food security, as does meat and milk production.

"The German-Moroccan Centre of Excellence for Agriculture is tailored to these strategies and can consequently contribute towards implementing the "Green Moroccan Plan". The centre aims to show how modern agricultural equipment and means of production, and good farm management, can lead to sustainable increases in yield in cereal, potato and feed production," said Bleser. Training in beef and milk production is planned from 2015. The centre works in cooperation with a number of agricultural enterprises in the region. The training centre in Sidi Slimane develops practical skills as well as providing theoretical knowledge.

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