By Sanae Elouazi Rabat - The World Bank's Board of Executive Directors approved a USD 200 million loan to support Morocco's agricultural sector. In partnership with the International Finance Corporation, the World Bank’s initiative will strengthen agri-food value chains in the kingdom and make the food production sector even more efficient.
By Sanae Elouazi
Rabat – The World Bank‘s Board of Executive Directors approved a USD 200 million loan to support Morocco’s agricultural sector. In partnership with the International Finance Corporation, the World Bank’s initiative will strengthen agri-food value chains in the kingdom and make the food production sector even more efficient.
The World Bank explained in its statement that the loan program is designed to provide general support to Morocco’s agricultural sector – 15 percent of the kingdom’s economy. The Green Morocco Plan (PMV), an ambitious multi-year effort to better develop the kingdom’s agricultural sector, has further strengthened Morocco’s agricultural export industry.
The program will “promote an enabling environment for agri-food sector growth and remove barriers to the development of targeted value chains and to tackle some of the sector’s persistent challenges, ranging from food safety and quality to limited integration of agri-food markets.” Agriculture value chains refer to the broad range of goods and services that are necessary for a given agricultural product to move from the farm to the consumer.
The World Bank statement added that the loan will accelerate the transformation of the agri-business sector towards greater value addition and market inclusion of small and medium producers and enterprises, in order to move away from fragmented production to more integrated value chains.
“Building on previous Bank interventions to foster effective sector reforms as part of the Green Morocco Plan (PMV), the Bank is ramping up its engagement to support the government’s efforts to develop modern value chains that can be scaled up with greater impact for the rural populations,” said Marie Françoise Marie-Nelly, World Bank Maghreb Country Director. “With the sector fabric dominated by small enterprises and cooperatives, the program intends to better include small and medium producers in a demanding and fast growing agri-food market,” she added.
In order to address a number of structural problems such as food safety, product quality and lack of market integration, the program will “support institutional reforms and increased investment to ensure greater value-addition, improve market efficiency and strengthen competitiveness.”
This loan follows the World Bank’s USD 202 million loan granted to the city of Casablanca, which raises many inquiries about Morocco’s external debts that reached MAD 451.7 billion [USD 48 billion] in the second quarter of 2017.