The IFAD-IFPRI program allows complementary synergies to take place between the program’s activities and an IFAD portfolio of loans and grant programs currently being implemented in Morocco. Moreover, the country has taken on several climate change adaptation and mitigation initiatives in the last few years and has played an active role in mobilizing free trade partners and signing association agreements with economic blocs. In Morocco, agriculture is in fact the main sector creating employment and wealth, and it is also the sector on which the sustainable management of natural resources depends most.
The free trade agreements signed by the Government of Morocco, coupled with the country’s liberalization dynamics, create an opportunity for the agricultural sector. Nevertheless, while acknowledging the opportunities that globalization can bring, Moroccan institutions also recognize that these measures may create challenges, as some agricultural subsectors might not be able to compete on a global scale. Climate change may exacerbate this risk. To mitigate such risk, Moroccan institutions realize that specific policy measures need to be developed and implemented. Within this framework, the Government of Morocco has engaged in the policies and initiatives described below and has issued a grant to the CGDA (Conseil Général de l’Agriculture du Ministère de l’Agriculture, du Développement Rural et des Pêches Maritimes du Maroc) to contribute to this effort.
The Government of Morocco has also taken important steps to face the challenge of climate change, including a program to fight desertification and the development of a new energy efficiency agency. Another important initiative is the Adaptation to Climate Change in Morocco1 project. The program will focus on strategy- or policy-level entry points and on-ground experiments. In particular, it will attempt to assess the potential for carbon sequestration, investigate the feasibility of involving small farmers in the regulatory and voluntary market of carbon sequestration, and analyze the impact that mitigation activities can have on small farmers. Attention will also be given to the institutional structures that allow carbon sequestration markets to function successfully.
For Morocco, the IFAD-IFPRI program is a timely event given the launch of Morocco’s Green Plan in April 2008, which aims to develop the agricultural and food production sector. Two pillars of the plan that will be pursued—high-value crops and the smallholder sector—can be directly linked with the IFAD-IFPRI program objectives. Coordination of the IFAD-IFPRI program will coexist with Green Plan activities and other potential entry points for the program in the country. For more information, read the IFAD-IFPRI Partnership Morocco country brief.