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Moroccan Farmers to Benefit from Opening Markets and Agricultural Modernization

March 15, 2011

Washington, March 15, 2011 – Morocco’s “Plan  Maroc Vert” or Green Plan is the country’s strategy to bring better opportunities to small and large-scale farmers by transforming its agri-food sector into a stable source of growth, competitiveness and broad-based economic development in rural areas.

The World Bank today approved a 150-million Euro loan to support the Plan Maroc Vert (PMV) launched in 2008 and planned through 2020 as a combination of agricultural investments and public sector reforms. The development policy loan (DPL), the first in a programmatic series of two, is designed to support the ambitious PMV and its commitment to modernize agricultural management through institutional and sector reforms.

The plan is designed to usher in a substantial shift away from a highly protected market to a more open market-oriented agriculture to create better opportunities for farmers. Institutionally, it represents a major shift from state intervention to one that focuses on developing Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) to support the sector.

The DPL program supports four key cross-cutting policy and institutional reform priorities identified in the PMV. These are improving the efficiency of domestic markets; improving the socio-economic impacts of projects directed to small farmers; improving agricultural services; and improving the use and management of precious irrigation water and the planning of irrigation infrastructure.

The Plan Maroc Vert addresses the three long-term development challenges facing Morocco and identified in the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) agreed between the World Bank and the Government of Morocco. These are: i) enhancing growth and employment; (ii) reducing social disparities and (iii) ensuring sustainability. The PMV tackles these by pursuing institutional and policy reforms in relation to domestic markets, agricultural investments and services as well as irrigation water resources. 

“Plan Maroc Vert lays out an impressive and ambitious reform agenda for the agri-food sector in Morocco,” said Julian Lampietti, World Bank Task Team Leader.  ”The World Bank is pleased to be able to assist the government with global best practice in a few key areas. The ongoing reforms are an important milestone for the agri-food sector and it will be important to continue improving the domestic marketing chain and effective participation of small farmers in the investment decision making process.”  Mohamed Medouar, co-Task Team Leader added: ”This is also the beginning of a process aimed at ensuring more effective participation of small farmers and women in decision making and implementation of new investments under the Plan Maroc Vert.”

The first phase of the DPL focuses on institutional change and the creation of an enabling environment for domestic and international promotion of the agricultural sector. The PMV involves the mobilization of a broad range of actors at both political and technical levels of Government as well as various sector stakeholders. The DPL builds on the outcomes and experiences from past and ongoing Bank operations in water and irrigation, integrated rural development, human development and public sector administration reform. World Bank participation will also bring lessons of best practice from around the world as the PMV is implemented.

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