The technical contours of the implementation plan for the agricultural strategy, Génération Green, are becoming clearer. The Department of Agriculture has defined the major orientations and axes of the Program for Results. The latter will constitute the central instrument for piloting the implementation of the agricultural roadmap. This plan, financed by the World Bank and the AFD, is built around 3 major axes. Improved employment and income-generating opportunities for young people, increased efficiency of agriculture and agribusiness marketing systems, and digitalization of agriculture and adoption of climate-smart practices.
The Department of Agriculture is preparing to put on track the Program for Results Loan (PPR) as part of Generation Green (2020-2030). The PPR, financed by the World Bank and the French Development Agency (AFD), should be the central instrument for steering the process of implementing the agricultural strategy. It thus aligns with the recommendations of the final evaluation of the Green Morocco Plan (PMV) and intends to place more emphasis on the development of agricultural and agri-food value chains. “Despite the substantial progress made at the farm level under the PMV, in terms of increased production and productivity, there are still major bottlenecks to be addressed beyond the borders of the EU. exploitation”, explain the services of Agriculture. The program will therefore support and help to improve the interventions of the public authorities which tackle these bottlenecks. The objective being to create new opportunities for the development of markets which stimulate new investments in the agricultural sector Through the PPR, the Department of Agriculture intends to apply the principles of optimizing financing for development and seek to maximize private-led investments, particularly in favor of young people , by reducing certain regulations, instruments and programs that have an impact on private investment in the agricultural and agri-food sector.
In concrete terms, the PPR selectively supports interventions likely to accelerate the “broader” transformation of the agricultural and agri-food sectors, towards greater added value. Likewise, it will strengthen the inclusion of small and medium-sized producers in the markets and support young entrepreneurs in the rural world. A whole panoply of actions is thus planned: reform of wholesale markets, use of digital technologies for producers’ access to information on production technologies and markets, promotion of commercial partnerships between small producers and buyers and strengthening of the ecosystem for the digitization of practices for a better resilience of agriculture. “The PPR will serve as a lever to facilitate dialogue and accelerate the implementation of reforms in areas that will achieve good intra-governmental coordination as well as public-private partnerships,” explains Agriculture.
A digitalization master plan in progress
To achieve its development objective, the PPR focuses on three priority result areas. First, improved employment and income generation opportunities for young people in rural areas. Indeed, the program will intervene to contribute to the establishment of a specific entrepreneurship support mechanism dedicated to young agricultural entrepreneurs. This support mechanism is organized around two sub-areas of results: strengthening the ecosystem for the development of entrepreneurship in rural areas and facilitating young people’s access to financial resources so that they can start their agro-enterprises and/or attempt to carry out other service activities related to agriculture. In order to improve employment and income generation opportunities for young rural people, the PPR provides for the revision of the incentive and legal framework of the Agricultural Development Fund (FDA). The objective is to integrate into the Fund specific financial incentives for young people to carry out their projects.
As for the second area of results, it will focus on consolidating the efficiency of marketing systems for agricultural and agri-food products. Concretely, it will be a question of improving the conditions of marketing on the local market and the competitiveness of exports of agricultural and agri-food products, through various actions and measures. This involves the organization and modernization of marketing channels on the local market, support for export competitiveness by improving export control and coordination processes, and strengthening food health control. A strategic environmental and social study is thus planned to program the modernization of wholesale markets on a national scale. Similarly, a draft revision of the regulatory framework governing these modernized platforms is currently in the pipeline. All accompanied by the construction of four new modern wholesale markets in Marrakech, Meknes, Agadir and Berkane.
Finally, the third area of results of the PPR will focus on strengthening the digitalization of agriculture and the adoption of climate-smart practices. The Program will indeed contribute to improving the effectiveness and efficiency of agricultural support services (agricultural advice, plant health protection, training, R&D, etc.) and to supporting resilience. agriculture in the face of climate change. To achieve these objectives, measures will be implemented within the framework of the PPR, in particular the development of the digital agriculture ecosystem and support for eco-efficient agriculture that is resilient to climate change. A major study will thus be designed in order to define an overall plan for the digital transformation of the Department of Agriculture and its future development. The objective is to guarantee optimal synergy between the various structures under the supervision of the ministry and to federate them around a national network of agricultural information. To support the development of climate-smart agriculture, the PPR plans to launch work to equip 8,000 ha with remote reading and remote management systems.
200,000 beneficiaries in the viewfinder
Although some of its activities will undoubtedly benefit a wide range of stakeholders in the agriculture and agri-food sector, the PPR should contain targeted actions indicating the inclusion of young people in entrepreneurial activities related to agriculture, as well as small and medium producers. Not to mention companies operating in modern value chains. “The whole will benefit from these will thus take advantage of the opportunities due to the great efficiency expected from the wholesale markets, the development of innovations induced by the digital transformation of agriculture and the improvement of health safety and quality. food”, argues Agriculture. The Ministry estimates that approximately 200,000 agricultural and agri-food producers and entrepreneurs have benefited from one or more Program activities in the various regions of intervention. To attract young people to undertake in agriculture and agri-food, the PPR plans to launch a national pilot call for projects in order to identify the leaders of innovative projects (digital and climate-resilient).
And that’s not all. The Program is working on the organization of national competitions to promote youth entrepreneurship in digital and climate-smart technologies in agriculture. The young winners will be entitled to tailor-made support in the realization of their projects. Similarly, a pilot initiative aimed at the emergence and empowerment of agricultural service cooperatives by young people will be put on track in partnership with the regional departments of Agriculture. This operation will therefore make it possible to support young rural people in the construction of new cooperatives of agricultural services, organized and organized around ecosystems. Several service specialties are thus targeted, including the location of agricultural machinery and equipment, the sale of inputs, the performance of pruning and harvesting operations, guarding, negotiation and marketing of products. In addition, a merchant website dedicated to the online marketing of local products will be set up. The aim is to energize this segment and encourage young people to invest in it.
The Program also plans to identify, on the basis of an in-depth territorial diagnosis, opportunities for the creation of agricultural projects, by sector and by production basin, with a directed ecosystem sector/integrated value chain approach. The process should thus lead to the constitution at regional level of portfolios of projects to be made available to young people. On the export side, the PPR provides for the digitalization of the management of exporter approvals (registration and updating). Thus, an electronic register for the management of applications, renewals and allocations of export approvals will be developed and implemented. Similarly, the technical control process will be digitized. In concrete terms, the PPR provides for the development and implementation of a new system for the digitization and monitoring of technical control operations carried out at the level of the packaging stations.
On the training side, the Program promotes the creation of a specialty in data science applied to agriculture.
A steering committee of 15 establishments
The Program Loan for Results will be steered by a committee of 15 institutions. These include, among others, the Department of Agriculture, the National Office for Food Safety (ONSSA), Maroc Foodex, the Agency for Agricultural Development (ADA), the Ministries of Economy and of the Interior, the Department of Industry and the Moroccan Confederation of Agriculture and Rural Development (COMADER). In addition, representatives of the World Bank and AFD will attend the steering committee as observer members. The committee, appointed by the Secretary General for Agriculture, is created every semester. At each of its meetings, an update should be made on the progress and/or difficulties encountered in carrying out the Program as well as the decisions to be taken for its proper execution. In addition, a PPR management unit was created at the level of the Strategy and Statistics Department within the Department of Agriculture. This will be responsible for monitoring the program in all its technical, financial, environmental and social aspects. The management unit will meet once a quarter and whenever the need is expressed. The Department of Agriculture intends, through technical assistance, to provide support to the members of the management unit for the implementation of the Program.
400,000 households to be integrated into the agricultural middle class
As a reminder, Generation Green 2020-2030 is based on a capitalization of the achievements made by the Green Morocco Plan, the consecration of a new governance and the provision of modern means to the sector. The roadmap, adopted in 2020, is based on two strategic foundations: priority to the human element, in accordance with the High Royal Guidelines, through the emergence of a new generation of the agricultural middle class (350,000 to 400 000 households), the support of a new generation of young entrepreneurs, the emergence of a new generation of agricultural organizations driven by the inter-professional organizations and the implementation of a new generation of support mechanisms. The sustainability of agricultural development is the second foundation of the new strategy. It provides for the consolidation of agricultural sectors, with a view to doubling exports and agricultural GDP by 2030, the improvement of product distribution processes through the modernization of 12 wholesale markets and traditional markets. It is also about building the resilience and sustainability of agricultural development, as well as improving the quality and capacity for innovation.