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IBM Develops Plan To Help Moroccan Farmers Boost Skills, Production

RABAT, Morocco, Nov. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) experts participating in the company's pro bono Corporate Service Corps program have recommended a strategy to lift the productivity of Moroccan farmers. 

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20090416/IBMLOGO)

The plan focuses on improving coordination between the country's Ministry of Agriculture and the farming community, as well as improve internal coordination within the ministry.  Closer ties with farmers will enable the ministry to provide more timely advisories, training, and research results -- enabling farmers to modernize work techniques and improve their production quality and quantity.

The nine-member IBM team, comprising members who hail from five countries, presented recommendations on a variety of issues after spending one month in Rabat in consultation with organizations from the public and private sector, including the country's Directorate of Education, Training and Research of the Ministry of Agriculture, International Office of Migration, and the Rabat School of Government and Economy.

With the Directorate of Education, Training and Research of the Ministry of Agriculture, IBM helped design a framework for a system to collect and share expertise and institutional knowledge from and between many government agencies.  The system would also disseminate information and training to farmers, help coordinate outreach, and measure impact.  Such a framework, based on cloud computing and shared services technology, could strengthen government services and foster private sector involvement in the agriculture sector.

It would help support "Green Morocco Plan" development programs by providing relevant advisories to farmers and investors throughout Morocco.  Today, agriculture and agri-industry represents 19 percent of Morocco's gross domestic product, accounts 23% of its exports, and employs close to half of the labor force. With its Green Morocco Plan, the Government of Morocco is expanding from domestic food self-sufficiency to developing international markets for its agriculture.

At the Rabat School of Government and Economy, the IBM team developed a methodology for managing surveys that gauge perception of conducting business in Morocco.  The plan would allow the school to post polls online, in print, and via social media. IBM recommended technology to analyze poll results, and outlined a branding and advertising strategy to promote positive feedback.

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