The UK’s participation as a guest of honor of the 15th edition of the International Agricultural Exhibition in Morocco (SIAM), scheduled between May 2 and 7 in Meknes, was announced Monday in Casablanca.
During a press briefing led by the British Ambassador to Morocco, Simon Martin, the focus was on the excellent relations between Morocco and the UK and the two Royal families, as well as the significant progress achieved in bilateral cooperation following the conclusion of the Association Agreement between Morocco and the UK in 2019.
The British diplomat recalled that the two countries are linked by cooperation agreements in several fields including agriculture, noting in this regard that the exports of Moroccan fruit and vegetables to the UK have increased by 15% last year.
Regarding the participation of the UK as a guest of honor in this year’s edition of SIAM, Martin noted that the UK stand will cover 402 square meters, adding that this event will be marked by the participation of 30 British companies and 60 British experts and the organization of 6 conferences and workshops.
The British ambassador explained that the participating British companies represent the fields of sustainability, research, engineering, trade, logistics, and agri-tech, further noting that the panels will address food sovereignty, control of irrigation water, climate change, the role of scientific and technological progress, the consolidation of agricultural value chains, the strengthening and modernization of distribution channels, British Innovation and investment in sustainable agriculture.
The event will also include B2B meetings between British and Moroccan companies, the introduction of British universities to promote collaboration in agricultural research and development, and the conclusion of several cooperation and partnership agreements between Morocco and the UK.
On this occasion, Martin stressed that this edition of SIAM will give a new impetus to cooperation between Moroccan and British institutions and companies, recalling, in this regard, the British initiative DARWIN, which funds Moroccan projects through the “Global Diversity Foundation” on ensuring the socio-ecological viability of High Atlas cultural landscapes, the exchange of expertise between the National Institute of Agricultural Research (INRA) and British experts in the field of fiscal decarbonization of agriculture and the upcoming inauguration of the first branch campus of Coventry University in Bouskoura.
This press briefing was also an opportunity to highlight the new initiative launched by Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P), in collaboration with Rothamsted Research and Cranfield University in the UK, to help train the next generation of Moroccan scientists and engineers.
The initial phase of this partnership focused on the implementation of seven agricultural research projects and the creation of a doctoral training center, supported by the OCP Group, one of the world’s largest exporters of phosphate fertilizers
The British diplomat promises an edition rich in meetings and opportunities to further strengthen relations between the two countries and encourage the presentation of British expertise in the agricultural field.