• Green Morocco Plan: a model to duplicate?
  • Green Morocco Plan: a model to duplicate?
  • Green Morocco Plan: a model to duplicate?

Green Morocco Plan: a model to duplicate?

Last April, the ninth agriculture Forum was held in Meknes, Morocco, an opportunity for the host country to take stock of the Green Morocco Plan (GMP), launched in 2008.

By Lilia Ayari

The Agricultural Forum opened, on 17 April, in Meknes, Morocco on good news. For its ninth edition, the meeting, held on the sidelines of the 12th Agricultural Fair in Morocco (SIAM), brought together some fifteen ministers of agriculture of the continent, as well as the Italian Minister of Agricultural, Maurizio Martina, and his colleague Isabel Garcia Tejerina, the Spanish Minister of Agriculture, Food and Environment. On the theme “Agriculture and food security on the water”, the meeting sought to sensitize and mobilize agricultural operators, as well as public decision makers, and more generally the general public, on the necessity for strengthening water management meeting environmental requirements. And in this favorable context, at least for the Kingdom, the Moroccan Minister of Agriculture, Aziz Akhannouch, introduced the debates.

Indeed, the 2016-2017 crop year benefited from favorable rainfall and moderate temperatures, resulting in record sales of certified seed, up 52% ​​compared to the previous season. “Also, the first forecasts show a record cereal harvest around 102 million quintals, representing an increase of 203% compared to the previous season, and exceeding the targets targeted by the Green Morocco Plan,” stressed the minister, adding that “more than 300,000 farms were created thanks to the PMV. This has resulted in 1.8 million farms to date. Before the operationalization of the PMV, 4.9 tractors were registered for every 1,000 hectares … against more than 8 at present “. 700,000 ha of agricultural systems have been transformed into a high value-added farm (fruit trees) and 20% of the undeveloped lands (dry growing area) have been transformed.

“A green agricultural revolution”

The Minister availed that opportunity to make an assessment of the Green Morocco Plan. Initiated in 2008, it aims to make agriculture one of the national economic growth levers in the next fifteen years. To achieve its ambitious objectives, the Green Morocco Plan targets small and medium-sized family companies and entrepreneurial farms with large areas and access to capital. Planned until 2020, it has already achieved satisfactory results: Morocco has considerably increased public investments in the agriculture, which resulted in increasing cultivated areas, attracting interest from many players in western agricultural development -African. “A green agricultural revolution has taken place”, said Aziz Akhannouch, with supporting figures. Thus, agricultural GDP has increased by almost 60% since 2008 to reach 108 billion dirhams in 2016. Exports have risen to GH 27 billion in 2015, an increase of 78%. Finally, over the same period, 300,000 new farms were created, bringing the total number of farms to 1.8 million.

Concrete innovative solutions

“The Green Morocco Plan outlined a clear strategy for the development of Moroccan agriculture and has made national agriculture one of the main levers of economic and social growth of the decade, according to analyses by Jamal Eddine El Jamali, Managin Director of the Crédit Agricole Group of Morocco, a bank that has mobilized DH 45 billion for PMV. It developed an efficient approach to agricultural issues and a winning model that has solved and overcome the challenges of Moroccan agriculture. It took into account the duality of this sector vital to our country and the constraints linked to this, a duality reflected in the coexistence of a modern agriculture with high added value and smaller and more unified foodstuff agriculture. It provided innovative and concrete solutions that have proved their worth and have been successful as recognized today at the international level”.

“The example of Morocco will help convince some African States that the development of our countries requires the promotion of agriculture”

This successful experience should be a lesson for the continent, where a number of countries, including Gabon, the Ivory Coast and even more recently Guinea, have set up “Local” versions of the Green Morocco Plan. “The example of Morocco will serve to convince some African countries that the development of our countries, regardless of their level of raw materials, requires the promotion of our agriculture,” said Alpha Condé, AU Incumbent Chairperson and Guest of honor of the forum. As Conakry and Rabat are linked by three agricultural pilot projects signed in February by the Heads of State: a 200 – 300 hectare hydro-agricultural development project; a project to aggregate small-scale farmers in Guinea around the corn sector; and an agreement to supply 100,000 tons of fertilizers, signed by the l’Office chérifien des phosphates (OCP)

Referring to the initiative for the Adaptation of African Agriculture (AAA), launched in favor of African agriculture at the COP22, by a coalition of 27 countries, of which Morocco was the leader – the Guinean President said: the initiative “is a concrete and innovative response to the common challenges of climate change to African farmers throughout the continent. If the initiative is supported, and I support it vigorously, then it will enable to raise very important funding for the benefit of small African agriculture. The AAA initiative aims to reduce the vulnerability of Africa and African agriculture to climate change. It promotes and facilitates the implementation of concrete projects to improve soil management, agricultural water management, climate risk management and financing capacities and solutions. To date, it has been supported by 25 African countries.

Author: Lilia Ayari // Photos: irrigated crops and farmers in Morocco © DR

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