Morocco's King Mohammed VI has led a ceremony to launch the new development strategy for the agricultural sector dubbed “Green Generation 2020-2030” in the province of Chtouka Ait Baha.
The strategy seeks to push 400,000 households to the middle class by encouraging young people to invest in one million hectares of arable lands and the creation of 350,000 jobs, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Rural Development, Waters, and Forests Aziz Akhannouch said.
The plan aims to increase agricultural exports to MAD60 billion (USD6.4 billion) and the agriculture Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to MAD250 billion (USD26.5 billion) by 2030.
The new program involves improvement in the distribution process of agricultural products through the modernization of 12 wholesale and traditional markets, said Akhannouch.
A strategy on protecting forests was also launched at the same event on Friday.
Akhannouch affirmed that Moroccan forests were at stake because of the loss of 17,000 hectares of tree cover every year.
This new strategy aims to make forests a space for development. It plans by 2030, to replant 133,000 hectares of forests and to create 27,500 additional jobs, in addition to improving the revenues of ecotourism to reach an annual market value of MAD5 billion (USD532 million).
King Mohammed VI also launched the construction works of the irrigation network at Agadir’s seawater desalination station. The construction of the station is currently 65 percent complete. The unit will initially produce 275,000 cubic meters of drinking water per day, while the rest will be for irrigation.
Besides the two national strategies, the King launched a project to plant 100 hectares of argan trees in the commune of Imi Mgrouren for a budget of MAD1.8 million. The program, costing around MAD28 million (USD 3 million), will benefit 729 people from seven communes of the region.