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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.

In addition, the IBM team presented a plan to The International Office of Migration to help it realize its mission to promote social and economic advancement through migration. The suggested framework would allow the office to fine-tune its internal procedures and to create a database of information and insights shared between its North African offices.

The team was a part of IBM's Corporate Service Corps, which sends IBM experts to provide pro bono counsel to government, non government agencies, and the private sector in emerging markets on matters that intersect business, technology and society.  The program aims to help improve local conditions, enhance government services, and foster job creation. Team members, who are among IBM's top talent, offer skills in areas that include information technology, research, marketing, finance, consulting, human resources, and law.

This is the third team of top IBM talent that the company has sent to Morocco on a pro bono basis this year. The last team of IBM experts sent in June provided Moroccan government leaders with recommendations for the implementation of a more efficient public transport system for Rabat and nearby Sale and Temara by 2020.

"The IBM Corporate Service Corps projects in Rabat reflect IBM'S commitment to Morocco. Through these projects, IBM leverages its expertise to address local challenges and, we at IBM, are pleased to support the Moroccan Government in achieving its critical development goals," said Abdallah Rachidi Alaoui, Country General Manager of IBM Morocco.

In September of this year, IBM had announced the strengthening of its operations in Morocco with the opening of an expanded location in the administrative capital, Rabat, effectively doubling IBM's presence in the kingdom.

Since the launch of the Corporate Service Corps in 2008, over 2,000 IBM employees based in 50 countries have been dispatched on more than 200 team assignments in 30 countries.  Africa is a significant focus for the initiative. Since 2008, IBM's Corporate Service Corps has deployed more than 500 IBM employees on 50 teams to South Africa, Tanzania, Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, and Egypt.

Follow IBM's Corporate Service Corps on the CitizenIBM blog at www.citizenIBM.com and on Twitter, at @citizenIBM

Media contacts:
Ari Fishkind
IBM Media Relations

Nadia Kallel
IBM Media Relations



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