Morocco modernizes agriculture sector

An ambitious green plan

The Morocco green plan
The Morocco green plan
17 OCT 2015
by

Morocco is the country of the ambitious plans and green plan, where 900 agricultural projects with an investment of 150 billion dirhams to create poles of agricultural development. It also offers intensive programs for the benefit of the small farmers in order to modernize the agriculture and develop the production, together with the evaluation of the agriculture production and the development of rural areas. In fact, the Moroccan green plan aims to support about 800.000 small farmers and improve the life conditions of about 3 million persons in rural areas.

Estimates indicates that Moroccan production allocation for 2015 has reached 55 million quintals of soft wheat, 50% of the total cereal harvest, 32 million Qx barley (30%) and 22 million Qx durum wheat (20%). Since 2008, exports have marked a jump of 34%. On the same upward trend, industry growth was 7.6% per year since 2008. “The Green Morocco Plan has greatly improved farmers' incomes and reduced poverty in rural areas” Said Mr Aziz Akhannouch, Minister of Agriculture and Fishery in the opening of the eighth edition of the Agriculture Debate in Meknes. Indeed, the share of the population suffering from malnutrition dropped from around 7.1% in 1990 to 4.9% in 2015.

Morocco green plan to improve agriculture sector

Following the high guidelines of the King Mohammed VI, the Agriculture Department has been involved in the formulation of a new agricultural development strategy in order to impress the agricultural sector with harmonious, scalable and balanced dynamism, taking into account its specificities through exploiting the potential for progress facing new challenges while preserving the social and economic balances and accompanying the profound changes facing the global food system.

The strategy is articulated around a comprehensive approach that covers all agriculture players according to their own objectives. It is also based on two main pillars: modern and inclusive agriculture. The main objective of Morocco green plan concerning modern agriculture is to develop an efficient agriculture, suited to the market rules, with a new wave of private investment and fair organized around new aggregation models. As for agriculture solidarity in the green plan, the aim is to develop an approach geared towards the fight against poverty by increasing agricultural incomes significantly from the most vulnerable farmers, particularly in peripheral areas.

This strategy is expected to have impacts on growth, upgrading and increasing farm income as a control motor against rural poverty, thus justifying the implementation of substantial financing, institutional and managerial resources. It will also have an impact on the significant improvement of agricultural GDP, exports and private investment, and on fighting against poverty both in the countryside and in the poor suburban.

Irrigated agriculture is part of Morocco green plan

Irrigated agriculture has become part of the national and regional economy as a lift of wealth and job creation. Although irrigated agriculture in Morocco occupies only 15% of the cultivated area, it contributes with around 45% on average of the agricultural added value and accounts for 75% of agricultural exports. This contribution is more important in the years of drought where production of rainfed land is severely affected. On average the irrigated sector contributes with 99% for sugar production, 82% for vegetables, 100% for citrus fruit, 75% for fodder and 75% for milk. In addition, this sector provides almost 120 million working days per year, or about 1 million 65 thousand jobs, including 250,000 permanent. Furthermore, there is the improvement of farmers' incomes, which have increased by 5-13 times depending on the perimeters, and the opening up access to other municipal public services such as drinking water, electrification, etc., as well as the significant impact on upstream areas of public works, industry and services, and downstream in the agribusiness sector.

Morocco green plan supported internationally

Morocco’s plan is to double the long-term added value in agriculture through the creation of 1.5 million jobs by 2020. Morocco green plan is at the heart of the country's agricultural strategy, and aims to expand opportunities for small and big farmers that will improve competition and economic development in rural areas. The World Bank approved on March 2013 a loan from the Development of US 203 million dollars, a policy to promote the modernization of the agricultural sector in Morocco in the framework of accompanying the Morocco green plan since its launch in 2008. The first loan of this kind had already been approved in March 2011 in favor of Morocco. The objective was to support key reforms envisaged in the national plan to strengthen domestic markets to help small producers, strengthen agricultural services and to improve the distribution of irrigation water.

As part of its support of Morocco green plan, the World Bank has worked closely with other donors. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) provided technical support for the reform of local abattoirs, the Belgian Development Agency (BTC) that contributed to the financing of an economic analysis on irrigation sector reform, and the International Finance Corporation (IFC). The institution of the World Bank provides finance to the private sector, and it has funded work aimed at improving the legal and institutional framework of wholesale markets.

Morocco agriculture a model applied in other African countries

The field of agricultural production is linked to land ownership structure, relationship to the land, powers, status of schools in rural areas, the quality of public services in villages. Morocco green plan is defined as a break with the past and as a vision that wants to create sustainable and equitable relationship between two worlds and two realities of the agricultural sector. This is meant to integrate medium and small farmer in the cycle of emancipation through the valuing the land working which is also a national unity cement in its deepest meaning.

The department of agriculture considers as priorities the national agricultural promotion and its integration in the international environment. It undertakes a series of actions to strengthen cooperation relations with partners of the Kingdom in the world. Major actions are so engaged in promoting national expertise through the development of South-South cooperation through tripartite or quadripartite agreements and the development of inter-institutional and inter-linkages through direct agreements signed with the Ministries of Agriculture in some countries. Morocco’s department of agriculture is in charge of applying agricultural projects financed by international partners in African countries through the supplies of agriculture experts.

Between 2002 and 2007, the Department of Agriculture led nearly 70 national and regional projects with the financial assistance of foreign partners. Plus other major programs that run especially with the European Union and European partners, with several projects and actions. 60% of these projects have received financial assistance in the form of grants or loans. Concerning training agricultural experts, nearly 250 officers of the department annually benefit from exchange programs and training abroad. These courses are mainly offered by the partner countries such as Belgium, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, China, Italy, USA, France, Egypt and the Netherlands, or by regional and International agencies.