MOROCCO – The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved the provision of a $200mn loan to accelerate the transformation of the food industry towards a higher added value and the integration of small as well as medium producers and enterprises into markets.

The statement issued on Thursday, December 21, by the World Bank Office in Morocco stressed that “with the increase in the productivity of the agricultural sector in Morocco over the past few years, the Kingdom aspires to push forward the growth of the sector by enhancing the competitivene ss of the food industry and increasing the efficiency of the agricultural food market. Therefore, the World Bank has decided to support the Moroccan effort in this sector.”

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) supports the program of “enhancing agricultural and food product chains” to promote a favourable environment for the growth of the agricultural food sector and to remove barriers facing the development of the targeted value chains.

Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly, Director of the World Bank’s Maghreb Office, said: “Based on previous interventional procedures by the Bank to promote effective sector reforms within the Green Maghreb scheme, the Bank is stepping up its involvement to support the government’s efforts to develop new value chains that can be expanded while increasing their impact on the rural population.”

The official added: “With the prevalence of small institutions and cooperatives along the sector, the World Bank intends to include small and medium producers in the fast-growing agricultural food market.”

According to the online Moroccan newspaper Lakome , the loan will help strengthen investments, increase cold storage stations and olive oil units, modernize the new wholesale market management model and improve the possibility to access market price information through customized technology tools.

Food industry exports represent 12% of the country’s total exports.

Source: Middle East Monitor

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