Rabat – The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Morocco’s Credit Agricole Bank have signed a €200 million agreement to support Moroccan bio-economy and agriculture companies.
The loan will pay special attention to sustainable development in Morocco.
A joint press release from Credit Agricole and EIB said the agreement seeks to support and accompany the implementation of Morocco’s new agriculture strategy, “Green Generation 2020-2030.”
The loan covers the financing of agricultural value chains, all production combined ecosystem related activities, including production, storage, logistics, packaging, and marketing.
The statement indicated that all food production, farms, agricultural cooperatives, small and medium-sized enterprises, and small businesses are eligible to benefit from the agreement.
EIB and Credit Agricole are targeting “productive investments that generate jobs and added value, in perfect accordance with the guidelines of ‘Green Generation.’”
The press release also referenced the loan as part of its strategy in the face of the COVID-19, explaining that the fund will be “accompanied by technical assistance” to support Credit Agricole bank in the digitization of agriculture value chains and green financing in Morocco.
The European bank vowed to mobilize additional resources to support the Moroccan agriculture bank and its customers.
Akhannouch welcomed the EIB’s support, emphasizing that the agreement is the first action to concertize Morocco’s Generation Green 2020-2030 agriculture strategy.
King Mohammed VI launched the national strategy on February 13.
The strategy seeks to reinforce the achievements of Morocco’s agriculture sector and create new income-generating activities.
It also aims to encourage the emergence of an agricultural middle class and make the sector a lever of socio-economic development.
EIB’s vice-president said that Morocco’s private sector is a priority for the European bank.
“To this end, we attach particular importance to it and wish, through this partnership, to support small businesses and medium-sized businesses in key sectors for the Moroccan economy,” she said.
Navarro added that the strategic partnership is a “major player in the financing of the bio-economy in Morocco.”
The chairman of Credit Agricole also welcomed the signing of the EIB agreement, saying that the deal is a “first step” between the two banks to build a solid and lasting partnership in favor of Morocco’s agriculture and the rural world.
“We wish to further strengthen our support to the agricultural sector which remains the absolute priority of our Bank, and, above all, to mobilize more resources to support the new agricultural strategy of the country,” Sijilmassi said.
A report from Oxford Business Group from 2018 said that agriculture remains a key contributor to Morocco’s economy. The report said that the sector accounted for about 15% of GDN in 2016, and generated nearly 40% of employment and 10% of exports.