WB lends Morocco $250 mln to finance innovative agricultural projects

The World Bank said it has approved a $250 million loan in support of Morocco’s Green Generation plan that aims at doubling agricultural output by 2030.

The World Bank said the financing is offered in cooperation with the French Development Agency (AFD) to promote profitable agricultural activities as well as environment friendly practices and sustainable agriculture.

The funding is part of a move to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the sector, World Bank Maghreb director Jesko Hentschel said.

Agriculture employs 38% of the work force in Morocco which aims to develop this sector to support the emergence of a rural middle class.

Morocco aspires to double its agricultural GDP between 2020 and 2030 to 250 billion dirhams thanks to the Green Generation plan.

It also aims at boosting Morocco’s exports to 60 billion dirhams by 2030.

The plan, spurred by King Mohammed VI, also provides for investment incentives and facilities to encourage young agricultural entrepreneurs. An agricultural insurance and social protection measures will also be put in place benefiting 3 million farmers.

King Mohammed VI had in 2019 urged measures to promote the development of a rural middle class via promoting agricultural activity and making loans easier to access in the countryside.

Morocco also launched an initiative to protect its 9 million hectare-forests including planting 130,000 hectares with trees in an initiative that would create 27,000 forest-related jobs.

Part of the measures to make loans easier for young entrepreneurs including those in rural areas, the preferential rate offered to young investors and project holders was set at 2% in urban areas and 1.75% in rural areas.

A special fund was created to guarantee these loans worth 6 billion dirhams with Hassan II fund for social and economic development adding 2 billion dirhams exclusively earmarked to investors in rural areas.

These measures are implemented as Morocco seeks a new development model that is geared to encourage entrepreneurship, reduce disparities, and fight poverty.

 

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