Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

Green Morroco Plan : “Considering the transformation of Morocco's economy as a whole”

Written by Nathalie Bureau du Colombier, MARSEILLE on Wednesday, June 26th 2013 à 12:03 | Read 823 times

The Green Morocco Plan initiated in 2008 by the Cherifian Kingdom aims to develop a modern agriculture by focusing on productivity and stimulating innovation while encouraging an accompanying solidarity. For researchers at FEMISE, however, this plan falls short in certain areas. The biggest complaint is that it does not take into account transformation across the whole of Morocco's economy.

Lahcen Oulhaj, Dean of the  Faculty of Legal, Economic and Social Sciences at Mohammed V University in Morocco. (Photo D.R)
Lahcen Oulhaj, Dean of the Faculty of Legal, Economic and Social Sciences at Mohammed V University in Morocco. (Photo D.R)
Designed so that agriculture may become the driver for economic growth in Morocco over the next fifteen years, the Green Morocco Plan (2008-2020) puts forward ambitious objectives, including the creation of 1.5 million jobs while fighting against poverty. The country also intends to use agriculture to increase its GDP by between 70 and 100 billion dirhams and boost exports.

So what tangible results has the plan produced in its first four years? In a report entitled “Evaluation of Morocco's agricultural strategy using a dynamic general equilibrium model” (*), 12 researchers at the Euro-Mediterranean Forum of Economic Science Institutes have highlighted the need to reform not only agriculture but the Moroccan economy as a whole.

“The Green Morocco Plan was not devised using a holistic approach. It should be noted that 40% of people in work in Morocco are employed by the agricultural sector. Yet agriculture contributes just 14% of GDP. This plan is excessively ambitious. It aims to boost employment whereas the workforce should, on the contrary, be reduced and productivity increased. The country must have development at its core by focusing on new sectors of activity — services and industry for example. This plan omits to take into account transformation of Morocco's economy as a whole”, explains Lahcen Oulhaj, Dean of the  Faculty of Legal, Economic and Social Sciences at Mohammed V University in Morocco and coordinator of the FEMISE report (FEM35-20).

This plan has helped stimulate investment in agriculture and diversify production

Since 2008, this plan has helped stimulate investment in agriculture and diversify production. Its strategy rests on two pillars: the development of high value added agriculture that is capable of responding to new market rules.

The Green Morocco Plan does not overlook small-scale farming in the same way. In theory, it should significantly improve small agricultural revenues through projects that restructure plots and intensify and diversify production. The strategy is to align two different types of agriculture; traditional agriculture, with its abundant and low-skilled workforce cultivating small plots of land with a low yield, and agriculture using modern farming methods on large holdings.

Economists believe that aggregation of small-scale farmers with large holdings alone couldnot enable the development and modernisation hoped for in the traditional sector. According to them, the capitalist model should have been envisaged.

(*) Evaluation de la stratégie agricole du Maroc (PMV) à l’aide d’un modèle d’équilibre général dynamique.

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