The unwavering commitment by HM King Mohammed VI to promoting a solidarity-based, modern and productive agriculture was mirrored, anew on Wednesday, through the launch by the sovereign in the Tadla-Azilal region, of agricultural projects meant to develop agricultural production, increase farmers' income and promote scientific research in the field.
The sovereign launched the project of building the quality control center for the Tadla-Azilal agricultural hub and the one related to the conversion, at the level of Oulad Arif collective lands (rural commune of Sidi Aissa, Fquih Ben Saleh province), of gravity irrigation systems into drip irrigation systems, totaling nearly 125 million dirhams.
These projects show HM the King's will to make the agricultural sector a catalyst for a balanced, sustainable economic growth in all Moroccan regions and an engine for the promotion of rural areas through the development of agricultural production systems and the management of water resources.
The quality control center (71.5 mln MAD), to be constructed at the rural commune of Oulad M'barek (Beni Mellal province) over a surface area of 2.62 hectares, falls within the framework the Moroccan Green Plan which sets the goal of improving qualitatively and quantitatively the agricultural raw material offer meant for processing.
The Center, aimed also for research and development, will include competences, means and services to reinforce actors' capacities and support professionals to ameliorate the productivity of promising competitive sectors and enhance the region's agricultural products.
Designed to serve as a single window, the quality control center will include new generation laboratories under the Export's Control and Coordination Autonomous Establishment (EACCE), the National Office of Foodstuff Health Security (ONSSA) and the National Institute for Agronomic Research (INRA).
The project will also comprise a research-training unit, a conference center that can seat up to 200 people, a reception area, a housing area for interns and visitors and a restaurant.
The quality control center is one of the components of the Tadla-Azilal agricultural hub (926 mln MAD) which will be carried out in five phases and will host an area for industrial activities, a zone for trade and services, a logistics zone and an environmental zone.
The 208 hectare-agricultural hub is aimed at developing agricultural products through regrouping, processing, marketing and distributing regional agriculture production. It will enable to generate over 3 billion dirhams of investments and more than 5,000 permanent direct jobs.
The conversion project of gravity irrigation systems into drip irrigation systems at the level of Oulad Arif collective lands, to span three years, will consist of equipping 1,054 hectares with drip irrigation systems, constructing water impoundments and water treatment plants, as well as supervising and training the beneficiaries estimated at 118 farmers.
Worth 53 mln MAD, this project seeks to modernize the irrigation network, improve water services and irrigation water and increase farmers' income. It is an addition to the water saving program in the Tadla irrigated area whose first phase (977 mln MAD) benefited 2,565 farmers and concerned the conversion of gravity irrigation systems into drip irrigation systems over a surface area of 10,235 hectares.
This first phase will enable to bring the irrigation efficiency from 50 to 90%, optimize the use of irrigation water, and create more jobs.
The Tadla-Azilal region witnesses also the implementation of 24 projects of solidarity-based agriculture projects (Pillar II of Moroccan Green Plan) worth 423 mln dirhams.
These projects, which benefit over 20,000 farmers, involve mainly the development of the sectors of olive trees, almond trees, apple trees, pomegranate trees, walnut trees, the vineyards, beekeeping, and sheep read meat.