Green Morocco Plan
The Green Morocco Plan's strategy concerns a sector which contributes 19% of the GNP, with 15% from agriculture and 4% from agro-industry. This sector employs more than 4 million rural inhabitants, and has created approximately 100,000 jobs in the agro-industry sector.
This sector plays a substantial role in the macroeconomic balance of the country. It also plays an important social role as 80% of the 14 million rural inhabitants depend on revenues from the agricultural sector.
Also, it is important to remember that the sector is directly responsible for the food security of 30 million consumers. This reaffirms the critical role that agriculture plays in the economical and social stability of our country.
The national agricultural strategy must deal with several limitations, the most significant being:
Investments in the agricultural sector are characterized by:
- Insufficient use of production factors. For example, 4 times less fertilizer use per hectare compared to France, and 11 times less mechanization compared to Spain.
- Inadequate participation of the banking system in terms of financing agricultural projects with only 18% of agriculturists benefiting from the allocation of loans.
- Poorly developed agro-industrial infrastructure, which represents only 24% of the number of national industries, and that transforms only a third of the production.
- A poorly subsidized agricultural sector: subsidies allocated to Moroccan agriculture attain only 8%, compared to other countries where subsidies attain 30 to 70%.
Morocco benefits from only 60% and 28% of the tariff quota for fresh and processed products respectively.
The agricultural sector is very poorly organized and there is a near-absence of inter-professional interaction.
Insufficient management and supervision:
National agriculture is weakened by the traditional management of farms, with inadequate systems of supervision.
Limited water resources:
Drought is one of the most important obstacles to the development of national agriculture because of poor and irregular rainfall. The under-valuing and overuse of surface and ground water is due to an inefficient irrigation system.
Excessive parceling of property:
The excessive parceling of property is a major constraint in the development of our agriculture, where 70% of farms are smaller than 5 hectares. In addition to small farm sizes, the legal system concerning property is complex. There is also a low rate of recording and registration of land titles.
Dominance of cereal crops:
Cereal crops occupy 75% of usable agricultural surface areas (SAU) and yet, represent only 10 to 15% of agricultural revenues and only 5 to 10% of employment in the sector.
In the face of these challenges, Moroccan agriculture has several advantages, the most important being:
- The geographical situation of Morocco and its proximity to the European market, with logistical means clearly improving;
- The presence of an often neglected dynamic domestic market that can constitute important opportunities due to population growth and an increase in the quality of life;
- Qualified and competitive agricultural workforce compared to the competition.
- Established competitive advantages for several products (fruits and vegetables, etc.);
- The presence, at a national level, of several models of successful agricultural businesses and agro-industries.
Through the analysis of the current situation, the Green Morocco Plan has adopted, as a model of success, investment and organization to build its strategy.
On the basis of directives established on a national level and based on the regional diagnosis, a number of important projects and action plans have been retained for the implementation of the Green Morocco Plan for each region, as established in the 16 Region Agricultural Plans.
A Regional Agricultural Plan consists of a road map for the agricultural development of a region, supported by the accompanying role of the central administration and the public powers, in terms of sectarian and institutional reforms.
The First Building Block: Make agriculture a lever for growth during the next 10 to 15 years.
To make agriculture a principal lever for growth, the following must occur:
- The reinforcement of the role of agriculture in the Gross National Product (GNP), from 70 to 100 million DH, knowing that currently agriculture represents 74 million DH of the GNP;
- The creation of 600,000 new jobs;
- Fight against poverty and the foster the improvement of agricultural incomes by 2 to 3 times to the advantage of 3 million rural inhabitants;
- Increase the amount of exports from 8 to 44 million DH in the sectors where Morocco is competitive (citrus fruits, olives, fruits and vegetables);
- The launching of a new wave of investments estimated at 10 billion DH annually, with the start up of 1,506 projects.
Second Building Block – Adopt aggregation as an organizing model for agriculture
The Green Morocco Plan is built on the principal of aggregation as a tool for the development of the agricultural sector; its implementation requires the creation of win-win partnerships between the upstream of production and the downstream of the commercial and/or industrial phase.
1. 1. Why aggregation?
Aggregation constitutes an appropriate solution to get around the issue of small farms and to face the challenges related to the lack of organization in the agricultural sector. In fact, small-scale farmers, which make up the majority of agriculturalists in Morocco (70% have less than 5 hectares), have insufficient technical and managerial skills and do not have the financial means for modernizing their production systems.
On the other hand, as agro-industry rarely gets involved with the agricultural upstream, it often suffers from the irregular supplying of primary goods, in terms of both quantity and quality.
2. 1. What is aggregation?
It is a form of organization based on the bringing together of agriculturists for the implementation of agricultural investment projects, also known as Aggregation Projects, and for the production, enhanced value and commercialization of agricultural products. This is voluntary partnership with an actor (aggregator) who has management, financial and technical expertise that permits the optimization of the production process.
3. 1. What are the advantages of aggregation?
a. For aggregees
Thanks to the modern production technology brought by the aggregator (close supervision and model farms), the aggregees have the opportunity to improve their production, in terms of both quantity and quality, and in consequence, its commercial value. This transfer is facilitated by the inputs and services rendered by the aggregator.
Aggregation also constitutes a solution for facilitating access to financing for the small-scale agriculturalists by means of advances, made by the aggregator or through the banks, on the basis of guarantees stipulated in the aggregation contracts.
The aggregees also benefit from opportunities offered by the aggregator, in terms of converting their farms from low to high value added sectors.
Together, these elements help in the increase of participating agriculturists' income, and their integration into a market economy.
b. a. For aggregators
For their part, the aggregators benefit from the positive effects of aggregation through:
- the securing of supply via more significant volumes of production;
- the development of their commercial capacities in order to conquer larger national and international markets;
- the extension of their upstream perimeter in the face of limited agricultural property, thus liberating funds for productive investments;
- the optimization of logistical costs between the production and the final market, thus avoiding the necessity of depending on a number of intermediate actors and the excessive erosion of profit margins.
4. What is an aggregation perimeter?
An aggregator's area of intervention, which can vary depending on the aggregation project, is called the aggregation perimeter. It can consist of village, a rural district or even several rural districts.
5. Who can play the role of an aggregator?
Several national actors already play the role of aggregators. Examples include CONSUMAR in the sugar sector, ANOC in the sheep sector and COPAG in the dairy sector.
As we can see, any agro-industry or storage organization can play the role of an aggregator.
Cooperatives and associations, from a legal point of view, are naturally potential aggregators.
Economic Interest Groups (GIEs) can be specially trained to play the role of aggregators.
A large-scale farm can also aggregate a number of small farms in order to create a common operation that is beneficial for all participants.
6. What can serve as a base for aggregation?
Aggregation can occur in association with various operations or agro-industrial units such as:
- The grouped acquisition or use of agricultural material;
- The sharing of irrigation materials or collectively owned warning and protection systems (against sudden climatic changes);
- The undertaking of common tasks (labor, plant treatments, irrigation, harvesting, etc.);
- The sharing of storage space;
- The value enhancement of production.
Ideally, aggregation should try to embrace both the upstream and downstream of production to benefit from the totality of the profit margins.
7. What role can an aggregator play (aggregation models)?
Depending on the degree of involvement in the production and value enhancement process, an aggregator can play different roles. This may vary from a simple commercial contract linking the aggregator and aggregee, to a role that can include the following:
- specific technical support and supervision;
- the supply of inputs;
- the pre-financing of certain investments for the participants (drop-by-drop irrigation equipment, plants, purchase of equipment, etc.).
8. What are the aggregee's commitments?
In exchange for the aggregator's contributions, the aggregee commits to a contractual agreement, with certain clauses to be respected, such as:
- the carrying out of technical plans set out by the Aggregator;
- the use of inputs furnished by the Aggregator;
- the delivery of production units agreed upon with the Aggregator.
9. What is the accompanying role of the State in the promotion of aggregation?
Aggregation, which is voluntary, is nonetheless encouraged and supervised by the Minister of Agriculture, the ADA and the regional supervisors.
The supportive role played by the State consists of the preparation of an aggregation project idea bank (1,500 projects) that covers all of the regions and agricultural sectors.
This project bank is made available to potential aggregators.
In the case where several aggregators are interested in a same project, the ADA can launch an invitation to tender to choose the best candidate.
Once chosen, the State helps the aggregator finalize his project.
Next, the aggregator signs an agreement with the State, which can bring the following types of support:
- Preferential support - "Aggregation Package";
- Preferential access to property;
- Preferential access to financing;
- Privileged access to advantages of the inter-professions.
Third building block: Insure the global development of Moroccan agriculture, without exclusions
Morocco is characterized by two types of agriculture:
- Modern agriculture, which is localized in irrigated zones and favorable non-irrigated zones, concerns 20% of the cultivated lands and is highly productive due to its use of modern technology.
- Tradition and food crop agriculture, on the other hand, is localized in non-irrigated and unfavorable zones and in mountainous zones or oases. This type of agriculture occupies 80% of the usable agricultural surface and remains narrowly dependant on precipitation.
Considering this large diversity in national agriculture, the Green Morocco Plan has adopted two strategies:
- The first, called Pillar I, focuses on projects that generally depend on private financing and develop highly-productive or high added value modern agriculture (milk, red and white meat, cereals in favorable, non-irrigated zones).
→ The project is undertaken in high-potential agricultural zones (irrigated or favorable non-irrigated zones) ;
→ The project conforms to the objectives of the Regional Agricultural Plan;
→ The project is started, either individually, or within the framework of an aggregation project;
→ The aggregation projects permit the grouping of agriculturalists around an aggregator (physical or moral person or any type of professional organization) where the principal objective is to optimize the upstream and downstream of an agricultural sector. This form of aggregation is generally centered around a value enhancement unit;
→ The surface area of a Pillar I project varies depending on the region and sector concerned. That said, the minimum surface area covered by the project must be sufficiently large to justify upstream investments;
→ State support for the implementation of projects depends on financial support for investments through the FDA (Agricultural Development Fund), with specific aid for aggregation projects.
The Pillar I strategy is expressed though the accomplishment of 961 aggregation projects, through the inclusion of 562,000 farmers and use of 75 billion DH in investments.
The second, called Pillar II, concerns the development of solidarity agriculture and is based on experiences undertaken in other countries, as well as the MCA project, which is financed by the USA.
The objective is to improve production in both vegetal and livestock sectors, in unfavorable zones, in view of improving the farmers' agricultural revenues.
Pillar II projects are economically viable projects in marginal zones (unfavorable, non-irrigated zones, mountainous zones and oases), that essentially depend on direct aid from the State. They also take into account the conservation of natural resources.
To attain these objectives, three types of Pillar II projects have been proposed:
1- Conversion projects: These projects aim at profoundly transforming current production systems, essentially dominated by cereal production, into high value-added crops, such as olives (77%), almonds (9%), Figs, etc. The objective is to replant 400,000 ha divided between 200,000 farms.
2- Intensification projects aim at improving the existing base for livestock production (for example ANOC) and vegetal production sectors. This will be accomplished through supervision of farmers to help them learn better techniques and considerably improve their productivity and the value of their production. This category concerns 400,000 ha.
3- Diversification projects consist of supporting the promotion of special or regional products to help create additional sources of income (saffron, honey, medicinal plants, etc.).
These three categories of projects rest upon the following principals:
1- delimited area per project:
- In terms of the choice of territory: the territory proposed for Pillar II projects must satisfy the pre-established criteria to justify the technical feasibility of setting up the project (rainfall, depth of wells, soil types, etc.);
- In term of the number of rural communes (CR): a Pillar II project can concern one or more rural communes. The number of rural communes included in a same project must be chosen so that they are compatible with the implementation components of the project and they optimize the use of value enhancement units.
2- One sector per project:
The project concerns a single sector which corresponds to the agricultural profile retained by the project.
- In terms of project size: the size of the project (surface area) can vary depending on the region and the sector. The size must be sufficient to create a substantial and economically viable project.
3- The integration of interventions:
Pillar II projects must integrate the totality of the implementation components in the project's territory in view of better enhancing the selected sector (small and medium hydraulics, value enhancement, support of cooperatives, etc.).
Integrated intervention must take into consideration the necessity of assuring, by the targeted population, the sustainability of the project's goals and acquisitions.
Concerning Pillar II projects, we must insure beforehand that:
- Beneficiaries adhere to the program and organize the implementation;
- Beneficiaries organize cooperatives and associations to insure their representation during the different phases of negotiation and the implementation of the project.
- Professional organizations will undertake, on their own or in the form of unions or federations, the management of value enhancement units and the commercialization of agricultural products operations.
This type of project does not exclude the possibility of creating a partnership, between a private aggregator and a Pillar II project cooperative, and of signing a contract to contribute to greater added value and commercialization potential of production generated by the project.
These Pillar II projects will be financed by the Moroccan banking system (banks, micro-credit companies) and international sponsors within a long-term partnership agreement.
The implementation will have the support of a network of social organizations (cooperatives, associations, GIEs, professional associations, GNOs).
Overall, the Pillar II category plans to undertake 545 solidarity projects, with a budget of 20 billion DH, to the advantage of 855,000 farms.
Fourth Building Block: Promote private investment
The plan relies on the necessity of promoting private investments, and, if necessary, the support of public aid.
For Pillar II projects, 70 to 80% of investments will be allocated by national and international sponsors. The remainder will be covered by the FDA (Agricultural Development Bank).
To encourage private investments for the implementation of Pillar I projects, the State, represented by the FDA, will allocate financial aid in the form of subsidies and bonuses.
The objective is to tap into 10 billion DH from targeted Moroccan sources.
Fifth Building Block: Adopt a contractual approach to accomplish the Green Morocco Plan
The implementation of the Green Morocco Plan requires the mobilization of all the actors from the different sectors, particularly the government and local and regional representatives, professionals and associations.
These actors will operate within a partnership framework, which will determine the radius of action and the responsibilities of each participant.
Several types of partnerships will be made:
- Tripartite partnership: Regions / Agricultural Chambers / the Ministry of Agriculture and Maritime Fisheries
- Partnerships between the Ministry of Agriculture and Maritime Fisheries and the profession.
- Partnership between the Ministry of Agriculture and Maritime Fisheries and the aggregators.
- Partnerships between the aggregators and the aggregees.
The Sixth Building Block: Sustainable Moroccan Agriculture
The strategy has planned, for the accomplishment of its objectives, the conservation of natural resources in view of insuring sustainable agriculture through the following steps:
- The integration of "Climatic Changes" dimension in the conception of the Green Morocco Plan;
- The conversion of nearly a million hectares from cereal crops to fruit tree plantations, which will help protect agricultural spaces;
- Experimental use of semi-desert zones to increase the usable agricultural surface area;
- Support for the water conservation irrigation systems (from the current 154,000 ha to 692,000 ha);
- Support for the use of renewable energies in the agricultural sector (solar and wind energy, bio-fuels).
Seventh Building Block: The dismantling of the segmented framework
For the successfully implementation of the two pillars of this strategy, the dismantling of segmented framework plays an essential role. This dismantling concentrates on the following cross-sector issues:
The new land policy is characterized by:
- The privatization of public, collective and "habous" land.
- The setting up of frameworks that favor aggregation and public-private partnerships.
- The continued efforts for structural reforms (recording, registration).
- The massive acceleration of land titling.
New policies for the:
- The management of supply
- Mobilization of new resources.
- Maintenance and extension of existing perimeters.
- Management of irrigation water by representatives.
- Incentive pricing.
- Coordination of the different parties.
- The management of demand
- Generalization of modern irrigation technology.
- Use of water for high value added crops.
- Fiscal Policy:
- The putting into place of an adapted fiscal policy that takes into consideration the regional and economic specificities of the agricultural sector is planned for before 2013.
- The National Market
- Modernization of distribution channels.
- Improved access the wholesale markets and slaughter houses.
- Accompaniment and follow through/evaluation
The implementation of the Green Morocco Plan necessitates: the restructuring of the Ministry of Agriculture and Maritime Fisheries with the objective of reorganizing the State's resources to align itself with a new wave of changes created by the arrival of private actors; the refocusing of regulatory functions; the increased transfer of functional operations towards the private sector; and, the creation of two new entities, the Agency for Agricultural Development (ADA) and the National Office for Food Safety (ONSSA), capable of attracting growth potential and of playing the role of renewal and leadership.