GABON – The Moroccan government has offered small-scale farmers in Gabon 2,000 tonnes of fertilizer to boost their supply of farm input in light of the prevailing low supply in the global market and increasingly high costs of procuring.
The Gabonese agricultural sector includes food crops, rubber, and palm oil and employs around 20 percent of the population.
The agricultural grant in the form of farm input strengthens the cooperation between the two countries, which have shared for more than fifty years, diplomatic and economic relations of good quality.
The diplomatic ties have led to the establishment of several Moroccan private companies in Gabon that transverse in the cement, gold, timber, and transport sectors.
The endowment also comes at a time when the Gabonese government is constantly exploring new tactics to revitalize and develop its agricultural sector, in a bid to reduce food imports by 50% by 2025 and dependence on oil production.
Recently, the central African country, rich in natural resources, forests, and minerals, set up a project of 5 agricultural zones intended to lead it towards food self-sufficiency and diversification of its economy.
The country has partnered with India to develop the first high-productivity agricultural zone in Andem, starting this month.
In an interview with This is Africa that happened a few years ago, cited by the Rural Hub, Gabon’s agriculture minister had said the country aimed at increasing the contribution of agriculture to its economy to 15 percent, from the levels of 1 percent by 2020, as part of its strategy to become an emerging country by 2025.
The nation planned to develop its cash crop sector, to create domestic food security and export into regional and international markets, Julien Nkoghe Bekale told This is Africa.
Gabon has 1m ha of land available for immediate arable use and the government has tax breaks; a very good tax regime; and security in land acquisition, where a person, particularly investors, can lease land for 25-85 years, the minister outlined.
To enhance subsistence crop farming, the Gabonese government has adopted a self-sufficiency and recovery plan focusing on increasing the yield of crops such as cassava, banana, plantain, and tomato.
“We recommend in this recovery plan to be able to reduce 75 percent of imports of products and foodstuffs by the year 2023. And this, on the animal production component and the plant production component,” said Gabonese agricultural minister at the time, Yves-Fernard Manfoumbi.
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