Morocco: Bigger Incomes for 33,000 Smallholder Farmers in Mountain Zones – U.S.$9.13 Million IFAD-Supported Project to Boost Local Economy
Rome — A new US$9.13 million project, supported by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the government of the Kingdom of Morocco will increase the incomes of 33,000 smallholder farmers, livestock producers, poor rural women and young people involved in the production of olives, apples and lamb meat in the mountain zones of Al-Haouz Province.
An agreement for a $6.38 million loan and a $140,000 grant by IFAD to finance the Agricultural Value Chain Development Project was today signed by Hassan Abouyoub, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco, and Kanayo F. Nwanze, President of IFAD.
The agricultural sector in Morocco is facing many challenges such as inadequate access to water resources, technical training and rural financial services as well as underperforming farming systems. While there has been progress over the past years, poverty in Morocco remains a largely rural phenomenon.
The project will capitalise on the gains made by a previous IFAD-supported project in the same zone that ended in 2010. While the earlier project focused mainly on rural infrastructure and capacity building, the new project will develop the olives, apples and lamb meat value chains. Rural women and men will be able to raise their productivity, increase the value of their products through processing and packaging, and gain improved access to markets.
The project will assist the Moroccan government to enrich its development strategy for mountain zones, specifically in placing local products in the framework of national and regional value chains.
This new project brings IFAD’s commitment to Morocco to a total of $194.6 million. More than 650,000 households have benefited from IFAD-financed programmes and projects since the UN agency took up its work in Morocco in 1979.