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Agriculture


The national economy remains strongly marked by the agricultural activity both in terms of production and marketing. Considerable efforts have been made to ensure the growth of the sector. Public administration acts not only by carrying out agricultural development actions. It also promotes private initiatives to keep up with national and international development.

I- Status of Agriculture in the Moroccan Economy

1- The sector’s growth and its weight in the economy

Agriculture continues to occupy a considerable position in the national economy by generating 15% of the GDP during the three last years 2002-2004.  An average growth rate of 12% was registered between 2002-2003 thanks to the favourable climatic conditions that prevailed during these two years. However, the year 2004 was marked by a weak growth which did not exceed 2%.

Despite its weak contribution to the GDP, the performances of the agricultural sector continue to influence those of the whole economy. Between 1996 and 2000, agriculture contributed slightly to the growth of the GDP with a 0,6 points for an average growth rate of 3,7% (3,1 points for the GDP not including agriculture ). Between 2001 and 2004, with 4,8% average growth rate of the GDP,  agriculture contributed with 1,7 points  (against 3,1 for the rest of the economy).

As for food industries, their growth rate amounted to 2% during the period 2001-2003. Although the added value generated by these industries amounts to 55% of all processing industries, their contribution to the economy is still very weak with 8% of global GDP.

2- Agriculture’s role in the Moroccan foreign trade.

Agricultural products play an important part in the national foreign trade. Between 2000 and 2003, agricultural imports represented an average of 16% of the total imports value. Agricultural exports, on the other hand registered an average of 11% average of the total exports value.

Moroccan foreign trade of agricultural products is characterized by a structural deficit of trade balance since agricultural imports represent twice as much as agricultural exports. In fact, the deficit of agricultural trade balance reached an average of 11 billion dirhams during the period 2000-2003. Therefore, the coverage rate of agricultural imports by agricultural exports did not exceed the average of 45% during that same period.

Agricultural imports

Agricultural products decreased by 6% i.e. from 19,9 Billion DH in 2000 to 18,7 Billion DH in 2003. This decrease is mainly due to decline in cereals because of their share in the total agricultural imports (an average of 37% during the period 2000-2003). The quantities of imported cereals dropped by 34% and values dropped by 31% between the two studied periods.

The other principal agricultural products imported by Morocco and whose value decreased are: sugars (falling by 25%), leguminous plants (82%), tea (18%), and coffee (33%).On the other hand, vegetable oils, oleaginous seeds, milk and by-products increased respectively by 48%, 71% and 32% between the two aforementioned periods.

Foodstuffs play an important part in the foreign trading of agricultural products. Their share in the total agricultural imports reached an average of 73% between 2000 and 2003.

Agricultural exports

Agricultural exports rose to 9,7 billion DH in 2003, against 8,5 billion DH in 2000, that is to say, an increase of 14%. This rise is due to the 25% increase of foodstuffs exports. The share of foodstuffs in agricultural exports passed from 73% in 2000 to 81% in 2003.

The major exported products are fresh citrus fruits especially oranges and the clementines (whose value increased by 7%), early products especially tomatoes and potatoes (increasing by 26%), in addition to canned fruits and vegetables (increasing by 10%).

Geographical distribution of exchanges

The geographical distribution of foreign trade shows that the European Union is still Morocco’s main partner. Cereals  Morocco’s agricultural imports coming from the European Union are dominated by cereals including common wheat which amounted to 78% of the global value of the imported cereals followed by wood, skins and leathers, dairy products, vegetable oils and cattle food. Major Moroccan exports to the European Union are: fresh citrus fruits, fresh early products including tomatoes, canned vegetables and cork.

II Agricultural position and governmental action

Aware of the paramount role of the agricultural sector, the state has been working for the development of the national agricultural inheritance. Accordingly, important results were achieved and helped in the growth of the sector. Indeed, they are the fruit of an incessant field intervention.

1-Indicators relating to the agricultural sector.

According to the 1996 general Census of agriculture, the global Useful Agricultural Surface (SAU) increased by 21% over 22 years, moving from 7.2 to 8.7 million hectares. Furthermore, irrigated fields shifted from 725,000 ha in 1974 to 1.251.000ha in 1996. Exploited lands, on the other hand, fell by about 22% i.e. from 1.9 to 1.5 million.

The national land structure is characterized by the predominance of small farms. The surface of around three quarters of farms does not exceed 5 ha and represents no more than the quarter of the global useful agricultural surface.

The dominant land status is melk which represents 76% of the SAU. However, the share of the collective status remains considerable (18%). The remaining land status amounts to 6% of the SAU.

Agriculture crates more than two million permanent jobs. Wages granted to workers should not be less than the Guaranteed Minimum Agricultural Wage (SMAG), fixed at 50 DH/day in 2004.

2- The 2005 investment budget.

The 2005 investment budget allocated to the department of agriculture and rural development amounts to 1,583,9 million dirhams as payment appropriations and 1.350 million dirhams as commitment appropriations. The budget is distributed according to investment programmes as follows:

 

Programmes

Payment appropriations (MAD millions)

 

 

Share (%)

-  Great irrigation plans

-  Small and Average Hydraulics

-  Bour zones Development

-  Agricultural development support

-  Training, research and technology transfer

-  Information systems and agro-economic studies

-  General administration

474,7

202,7

184,9

413,1

182,6

15,1

110,8

30

13

12

26

11

1


7

overall

1.583,9

100

3- Encouragement of agricultural private investment within the framework of the 2004 agricultural development funds.

The amount of financial support (subsidies and incentives) granted within the framework of the Agricultural Development funds (FDA) reached 293,6 Million DH during the 2004 financial year as an encouragement of private investment.

The budget is distributed as follows:

Activities

Amounts

(MAD millions)

%

-      Development of Agricultural Properties

97,0

    33,0  

-      farms equipment

77,6

    26,4  

-      Promotion of agricultural exports (air cargo and diversification)

30,7

 

    10,5  

-      Improving livestock production

30,6

    10,4  

-      Use of selected cereal seeds

26,2

      8,9  

-      Fruit-bearing arboriculture

25,3

      8,6  

-      Construction et équipement d’unités de stockage des graines, d’unités de conservation par le froid et de conditionnement des fruits et légumes et d’unités de trituration des olives. Building and equipment of seed storage units, cold storage units, air-conditioning units for fruits and vegetables and olive grinding units

 5,2

      1,8  

-      Olive grinding units.

0,8

      0,3  

-      Laboratory analysis

0,2

      0,1  

Overall

293,6

100

The figures show that the development of agricultural properties comes first with 33%, followed by farms equipment with 26,4%, the promotion of agricultural exports with 10,5% and the improvement of livestock production with 10,4%. The other sections benefited from shares ranging between 0,1% and 9%.

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