Director-General QU Dongyu

Director-General pays tribute to Morocco's agrifood system centres



Rabat - FAO Director-General QU Dongyu today paid tribute to Morocco's agrifood system by visiting some of its most prominent research institutes, including the National Fishing Vessel Monitoring Centre, the Gene Bank and Biotechnology Laboratory at the National Institute of Agricultural Research (INRA), and the Hassan II Agronomic and Veterinary Institute.

Qu was visiting Morocco ahead of the 33rd Session of the FAO Regional Ministerial Conference for Africa, which opened on Thursday in Rabat.

The Director-General's first visit was to the Satellite Fishing Vessel Monitoring Centre (CSNPS). Inaugurated in 2023, the CSNPS plays a central role in monitoring and controlling fishing activities, reflecting Morocco's commitment to preserving the oceans and the safety of fishing fleets. Its activities include combating unregulated, unreported, and illegal (IUU) fishing; quotas, stocks and environmental monitoring; assistance and sea rescue; and scientific research.

Qu then toured the Gene Bank and Biotechnology Laboratory at the National Institute of Agricultural Research (INRA) in Rabat.

First established back in 1914, the institute's research focuses on the preservation and development of natural resources; improving the productivity, competitiveness and sustainability of agricultural production; improving the quality, value and diversification of plant and animal production; and providing analysis of social demand for production systems and agricultural policies linked to regional and local development. 

The Director-General's visit also focused on INRA's cereal improvement program, which is the main program in terms of budget and number of researchers, and the ICARDA-Morocco gene bank.

Qu later toured the Hassan II Agronomic and Veterinary Institute, where he visited the equine clinic and took part in the planting of an argan tree.

Established in 1966, the Hassan II Agronomic and Veterinary Institute provides initial and continuing education for engineers, doctors, masters, and Ph. D.s in science and technology fields related to agriculture, including agronomic sciences, horticulture, veterinary medicine, rural engineering, geomatics and topographic sciences, and agricultural and food industries.

Qu's final visit was to the Mohammed V Mausoleum in Rabat.

Speaking at the end of the tour, the Director-General said he had been deeply impressed by the facilities he had visited, adding that Morocco plays a critical role for FAO and its Members from the Africa region.