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Food Sovereignty: The Moroccan Agricultural Model Reveals Multiform Crises

Starting from the fact that food sovereignty is a means to achieve food security, Morocco has integrated the basic principles of food sovereignty into its food security strategy, particularly through the Green Morocco Plan established in 2008 and the Generation Green strategy launched in 2020. In the wake of the current crisis, restoring the balance of production and supply systems is a necessity.



Food sovereignty in Morocco is now in question. Exceptional situations require exceptional measures! Not as simple as it seems, as the entire Moroccan agricultural model has been called into question in the face of the poly-crisis currently facing the agricultural sector.

In this unprecedented economic context, where food inflation continues to weigh on households (20.1% in February and 16.1% in March, according to the HCP), many agricultural sectors have shown signs of distress. And this, in the wake, on the one hand, of the cumulative surge in prices of raw materials and imported agricultural inputs, and, on the other hand, the succession of years of drought, the water crisis, and climate change. This is, in this case, the plant and animal sectors that have previously maintained levels of self-sufficiency sustained throughout recent years, with coverage rates quite high.

Among these agricultural sectors are those of fruit and vegetables, red meat and milk as well as the poultry sector. Hence the thorny issue of restoring the balance of value chains and production of these sectors, as part of the strategy “Generation Green”, alluding to the new contractualization with the agricultural interprofessional on the sidelines of the International Agricultural Exhibition of Morocco (SIAM) held in Meknes from May 2nd to 7th.

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Action levers activated

In the meantime, several levers of action have already been activated by the public authorities in response to the multifaceted crises that the agricultural sector is going through, in order to mitigate the weaknesses observed in the production and supply systems of the plant and animal sectors.

For fruits and vegetables, it was a question of applying quantitative restrictions to the export, in addition to the resolution of the simplification of the exemption of the agricultural VAT to the importation with the widening of its spectrum via the adoption of the decree n° 2.23.335 carrying application of this tax foreseen in chapter III of the general Code of the taxes (CGI).

Regarding other sectors, including that of milk, there was a question, among others, to proceed with the import of heifers and dairy cows for the preservation and replenishment of the national livestock and the prohibition of the slaughter of productive heifers under five years.

The authorities have also allowed the import of domestic cattle for slaughter to ensure the supply of red meat to the national market at reasonable prices. In addition to the support provided to grain imports, through the program of subsidies for wheat imports, other measures have been taken. These include premiums for the collection of soft wheat and storage, in addition to the suspension of import duties applicable to oilseeds and crude oils of sunflower, soybeans, or rapeseed.

Food sovereignty or food security?

The current context has once again put food security at the center of the debate, with a real awareness of food sovereignty, for the past three years, especially with the fragility of production and supply systems and the vital nature of food chains and their production capacities. Starting from the fact that food sovereignty is a means to achieve food security, Morocco has integrated the basic principles of food sovereignty into its food security strategy, particularly through the Green Morocco Plan established in 2008 and the Generation Green strategy launched in 2020.

This complementarity between the two concepts has enabled the agricultural sector to achieve self-sufficiency and fairly high coverage rates for some sectors, which has allowed for price and production stability for crops before the advent of this crisis both cyclical and structural.

In previous years, it was complete self-sufficiency for fruits and vegetables, animal products such as milk and red meat, as well as coverage of 53% of the needs for cereals and 44% for sugar in ordinary years. However, it is currently essential to restore the balance in the various sectors affected under the strategy “Generation Green,” badly affected by this situation.


(Featured image by Stephen Olatunde via Unsplash)

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First published in LES, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.

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Suzanne Mitchell juggles the busy life of a full-time mom and entrepreneur while also being a writer-at-large for several business publications. Her work mostly covers the financial sector, including traditional and alternative investing. She shares reports and analyses on the real estate, fintech and cryptocurrency markets. She also likes to write about the health and biotech industry, in particular its intersection with clean water and cannabis. It is one of her goals to always share things of interest to women who want to make their mark in the world.