Par MAP le Vendredi 14 Février 2020

New Agricultural Sector Development Strategy Aims to Prioritize Human Element, Akhannouch

Chtouka Ait Baha - The new agricultural sector development strategy, dubbed "Green Generation 2020-2030", is based on two main foundations, namely the enhancement of the human element, in particular young people, and the continuation of the development dynamic of the sector, by promoting human and social development, said on Thursday Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Rural Development, Water and Forests Aziz Akhannouch.

This strategy is based on 8 broad lines which targets, with regard to the human element, the emergence of a new generation of agricultural middle class by allowing 400,000 new households to access this category, underlined Akhannouch in an address before HM King Mohammed VI on the occasion of the launching ceremony of the new development strategy for the agricultural sector called "Green Generation 2020-2030" and the one relating to the development of the water and forest sector called "Forests of Morocco". This strategy also aims to develop a new generation of young agricultural entrepreneurs through the mobilization and development of a million hectares of collective land and the creation of 350,000 jobs for the benefit of young people, he said. The agricultural middle class and young farmers will also be able to use a new generation of more innovative agricultural organizations and benefit from a new generation of support measures enabling them to build their skills, the minister added. Regarding the second foundation, the new vision provides for the consolidation of agricultural sectors, with a view to doubling the agricultural GDP and exports, improving product distribution chains, quality and innovation and guaranteeing a resilient and sustainable agriculture, he added. The achievement of the objectives relating to the emergence of a new generation of the agricultural middle class rests on four pillars which concern the improvement of the farmer's income, the generalization of agricultural insurance, the setting up of a special framework for the farmer allowing him to benefit from social protection services and the reduction of the difference between the statutory minimum agricultural wage (SMAG) and the legal minimum wage in other sectors (SMIG) by 2030, he said. According to the limit defined by national and international standards, the application of these measures will enable 400,000 households to enter the agricultural middle class and stabilize the belonging of 690,000 households to this class, according to Akhannouch. As for the rise of a new generation of young agricultural entrepreneurs, the minister explained that four levers have been put in place. The first concerns 3 value offers on the million hectares of collective land that target young people and beneficiaries.

The second lever will concern the establishment of special incentives allowing around 180,000 young farmers to start their activities, he said, adding that since 360,000 farm owners are over 65 years old and to ensure the succession of generations in the sector, innovative mechanisms will be put in place to ensure the sustainability of operations. The third lever concerns support for agricultural service companies, while the fourth and last lever concerns an ambitious training strategy aimed at training 150,000 young people by 2030, he noted.

In order to create a new generation of agricultural organizations, a vision of two levers has been developed, through the promotion of new models of agricultural cooperatives, by proposing precious offers which mix economic and social dimensions and which reinforce independence and the role of inter-professional organizations in the structuring of production chains, with the aim of delegating to them the management of 30% of the budget, he noted.

The last broad line of the first part includes the establishment of a new generation of support mechanisms, through the intensification and generalization of agricultural counseling, the development of agricultural e-services by connecting at least 2 million farmers to digital service platforms and the enrichment of the support system for solidarity-based farming, notably by supporting young men and women to ensure the sustainability of their projects. Concerning the second part of the new strategic vision, which concerns the continuation of the dynamics of agricultural development, the Minister explained, in a first pillar linked to the need to work on the strengthening of production chains, that the objective is to double the gross agricultural product to reach 200 to 250 billion dirhams by 2030 and the value of agricultural exports to reach 50 to 60 bln MAD and boost development and processing investments in order to cover 70% of the production.

The second pillar also concerns the structuring and modernization of distribution chains in partnership with the Ministry of the Interior and local authorities, through three measures linked to the modernization of 12 wholesale markets and traditional souks as well as the structuring and diversification of distribution chains via short circuits and direct distribution, added Akhannouch. The third pillar, linked to quality and innovation, will allow Morocco to better comply with international standards, meet consumer needs and make the product "Moroccan origin" a guarantee of quality. It also aims to intensify health control operations to protect consumers and improve access to international markets. The fourth and last pillar aims to develop resilient and sustainable agriculture through three levers, namely implementing the component related to irrigation water as part of the national program of drinking water supply and irrigation water 2020-2027, supporting farmers in the transition to renewable energy and the achievement of resilient and sustainable agriculture based mainly on the improvement of soil conservation techniques. 

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