Morocco and the French Development Agency (AFD) signed on Monday in Rabat two financing agreements for a total amount of €150.6 million in support of Morocco’s new agricultural strategy “Generation Green 2020-2030”. Signed in the presence of the French ambassador to Morocco, Helene Le Gal, this program focuses on revitalizing Moroccan rural areas by strengthening agricultural marketing infrastructure, developing agricultural and para-agricultural entrepreneurship and converting small farms to production methods that are more respectful of natural resources (water, soil, biodiversity), according to an AFD statement. “Agriculture has historically been the focus of our bilateral cooperation. I am delighted with this new AFD financing which will help to regenerate our partnership by placing the stimulation of rural entrepreneurship, the mobilization of local actors and the preservation of ecological balances at the center of its objectives”, stressed Le Gal, quoted in the statement. Contributing between 12% and 14% of the gross domestic product over the last ten years, agriculture is a strategic sector for the socio-economic development of Morocco and remains the main provider of employment in the country, with a contribution of 38% to employment nationally, which rises to more than 70% in rural areas. However, these rural territories concentrate the vast majority of inhabitants living below the poverty line. For his part, AFD director in Rabat noted that “the agricultural sector, at the interface of economic, social and environmental issues, will be a key sector in Morocco for the revival of economic growth and the social resilience of rural areas.” The program aims to make rural areas more attractive to the younger generations and more profitable for small farmers by financing, on the one hand, the modernization of processing and marketing infrastructures (wholesale markets, slaughterhouses, rural souks) and, on the other hand, the strengthening of human capital.
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