King Mohammed VI chaired on Thursday in the province of Chtouka Ait Baha, Agadir region, a ceremony setting out new strategies for the development of the sectors of agriculture and forestry to enable the Kingdom take up future socioeconomic and global warming challenges.
Speaking during the ceremony, attended by Crown Prince Moulay El Hassan, Minister of agriculture Aziz Akhannouch shed light on the new strategies “Generation Green 2020-2030” and “Forests of Morocco”, developed in line with royal guidance calling for the creation of jobs, income generating activities in rural areas and for the emergence of an agricultural middle class.
The new farming strategy builds on achievements accomplished by “Green Morocco Plan” which boosted agricultural exports, investments, created more job openings, improved resilience of agriculture against droughts and contributed to the expansion of small and medium agribusiness, said Akhannouch.
The new strategy will help create, in ten years, 350,000 jobs for young people, a new generation of middle class farmers (between 350,000 to 400,000 households) and a new generation of young entrepreneurs (through exploitation of one million ha), explained the minister.
This ambitious plan, which requires a 2.5 pc annual budget increase starting 2020, seeks to bolster farming exports (up to $6 billion) and agricultural GDP (to $25 billion) by 2030, he said.
Regarding the new forest strategy, the minister stressed the importance of the country’s forests, which stretch over 9 million ha, highlighting their environmental, economic and social role.
This inclusive strategy aims, by 2030, to repopulate 133,000 ha of forests, create 27,500 additional direct jobs, increase annual income of the production chains and ecotourism to about $515,000.
To reach these goals, the new strategy will associate the local communities in forests management, set up modern forest nurseries, a pole of training & research, a Water & Forest Agency and a Nature Conservation Agency.
The two new strategies will be implemented nationwide starting 2020, according to the specificities and assets of each region, and in coordination with all stakeholders, stressed Akhannouch.
Afterwards, the Sovereign launched planting operation of 100 ha with Argan trees in the commune of Imi Mqouren. This project is part of a $2.5 million program to plant Argan trees in the province of Chtouka Ait Baha over 1,250 ha.
The Monarch also launched on this occasion the construction works of an irrigation network from the Agadir desalination plant to be operational in 2021.