MOROCCO— The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank have approved a €199 million (US$194 million) loan to finance Morocco’s Competitive and Resilient Cereal Development Support Program (PADCRC) in an effort to reduce the country’s reliance on cereal imports.
This new operation – initiated as part of the African Emergency Food Production Facility to help boost food security, nutrition, and resilience across Africa – is set to improve the efficiency and climate resilience of Moroccan cereal production to preserve domestic food security and cut rising import bills. It also provides for structural reforms that will lead to more efficient and resilient production systems.
“With this new program, we share a strong ambition to strengthen the performance of the cereal sector and consolidate its climate resilience through renewed governance,” said Martin Fregene, Director of the Agriculture and Agribusiness Department at the African Development Bank.
He added: “Our support consolidates previous achievements which, over more than a decade, have enabled the agricultural sector to move from a production logic to a transformation dynamic, which creates many more jobs in rural areas.”
With this new program, we share a strong ambition to strengthen the performance of the cereal sector and consolidate its climate resilience through renewed governance
Given the higher costs of irrigation systems, Morocco remains reliant on precipitation for local production, and on the global wheat market to offset the supply shortage and keep cereal prices at an affordable range.
However, the worst drought in decades slashed Morocco’s cereals output by 67% to 3.4 million tonnes this year, and French grain industry organisation Intercereales said last week Morocco’s import needs of soft wheat are estimated at 5 million tonnes next year.
Achraf Hassan Tarsim, the Bank’s Country Manager for Morocco, said the loan will help increase cereal productivity by 50%, reduce cereal imports by 20% by 2030 and increase farmers’ incomes. “In sum, the project will value and create more jobs for rural youth and women,” he added.
The Competitive and Resilient Cereal Development Support Program aligns with the Bank’s ‘High 5’ strategic priorities. It is also in line with Morocco’s new agricultural strategy, ‘Generation Green 2020-2030.’
The African Development Bank’s engagements in Morocco date back over half a century, with total commitments of more than €12 billion (US$11.7 billion). The portfolio covers health, energy, water, transport, human development, agriculture, and the financial sector.
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