The Economic, Social, and Environmental Council calls for the strong involvement of the regions through a new framework of partnership with the State. The management of weekly rural markets should be entrusted to local development companies in Morocco.
Following a self-referral relating to the “policy of upgrading and development of weekly markets in the rural world”, the Economic, Social and Environmental Council (CESE) lists a series of measures to improve the management of these markets. The opinion, unanimously approved by the deliberative bodies within the EESC, insists on “the design of a unified vision in the short term that respects the regional specificities of weekly markets in the rural world, as well as its role as a local public service”.
The council also calls for “the permanent ministerial commission responsible for the development of rural and mountainous areas proceed to the treatment of the problem of weekly markets, through the mobilization of funding sources, especially through the Rural Development Fund. The third level of intervention identified by the council concerns the convergence of programs outlined by the regional development plans (PDR) “with the establishment of a mechanism with the president of the region, in cooperation with the wali, who will be responsible for the implementation of the promotion of weekly markets in each region.
At the legal level, the EESC is keen to clarify the relationship between the central services and those of the regions and municipalities. New specifications should also define the obligations of the regions and central services. The EESC also states that the management of weekly markets should be entrusted to local development companies (SDL), in parallel with the introduction of a new policy for the land that is to house these markets. The creation of weekly markets will have to be taken into account in the development plans (PA) as well as the regional schemes of land use (SRAT), we recommend.
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47 recommendations made by EESC
The opinion of the EESC is based on 5 areas of intervention that should essentially begin with “in-depth studies of weekly markets in rural areas in order to diagnose management problems in emerging rural centers. The council calls for the establishment of a new partnership framework between the state and the regions, through the creation of regional research centers responsible for identifying the urgent needs of weekly markets in each region. In terms of compliance with health and environmental requirements, the EESC recommends connecting markets to the cold chain and promoting their supply of organic products. For solid waste management, management methods should focus more on recovery. Among the actions envisaged are the launch of a new generation of weekly markets (recommended), based on the encouragement of local products, and “the creation of spaces for income-generating activities (IGA). And to remove some of the obstacles to the potential of weekly markets, the council insists on the harmonization of their supply methods, through an organization of wholesale fruit and vegetable markets and “the reduction of informal supply channels.
The main indicators collected
Of the 889 weekly markets located in rural areas, 822 are open and distributed among 792 rural municipalities or more than 61% of them. The territorial coverage of markets also indicates that 490 rural communes do not have a market. Today, updating data on weekly markets remains crucial. Indeed, 95% of revenues come from rental income, and the actual turnover of each market is often unknown.
With respect to average customers per rural market, EESC data indicate that more than 2.6 million people nationwide visit these rural venues. However, disturbing regional disparities persist, according to the council. For example, the Dakhla-Oued Eddahab Region, which does not have a weekly market, while Marrakech-Safi has more than 18% of weekly markets in the country. Other rural communities are particularly active, such as those of Taroudant, which host nearly 40 weekly markets.
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First published in LesEco.ma, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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