Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Improving incomes and building resilience of rural population in Morocco to adapt to climate change

IFAD invests in developing value chains in rural mountain areas

Rome, 10 November 2014 – The government of the Kingdom of Morocco and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) signed a US$25.5 million loan and grant agreement to finance the first phase of the Rural Development Programme in the Mountain Zones. This project aims to reduce poverty by 30 per cent by 2030 and improve living conditions for rural people in the mountain areas of Morocco.

With a total cost of $50.0 million, the project is co-financed with a $13.5 million contribution from the Government of Morocco, a $6.51 million contribution from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), a contribution of $2.0 million from the beneficiaries themselves and a $2.0 million grant financed by IFAD's Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP).

The financing agreement was signed today in Rome by Hassan Abouyoub, Ambassador and Permanent Representative for the Royal Kingdom of Morocco to IFAD, and Michel Mordasini, Vice-President of IFAD.

While in rural areas agriculture is the main employer and provides 80 per cent of the income earned, economic growth in Morocco remains highly volatile due to climate-change variations.

The mountain zones in Morocco offer multiple opportunities for agricultural and non-agricultural rural development, with high value-added product lines (apples, cherries, plums, almonds, walnuts, honey and carob), an expanding local market and export potential.

"The programme builds on the great achievements of IFAD-funded projects in Morocco,” said Abdelhamid Abdouli, IFAD Country Programme manager for Morocco. ”The first phase of this programme, covers the mountain zones of Sefrou and Azilala and is part of a long term partnership between the Government of Morocco and IFAD.”

The project aims to sustainably improve the wellbeing of the rural poor by building their resilience to climate change and develop value chains based on sustainable natural resource use and diversification of the local economy.Working with the private sector, the programme will develop value chains to improve access to markets. It will directly benefit 30,000 households, reaching 50 per cent of rural women in 32 rural communes. This IFAD-funded intervention is designed to work with and serve small farmers, landless youth, livestock breeders, beekeepers with knowhow but no hives.

Since 1979, IFAD has invested a total of $194.6 million in 13 programmes and projects in Morocco. It is estimated nearly 659,045 Moroccan rural households have benefited from these efforts.

Notes to Editors
Abdelhamid Abdouli, Country Programme Manager for Morocco will be available for interviews in person or by phone.

Press release No.: IFAD/68/2014
IFAD invests in rural people, empowering them to reduce poverty, increase food security, improve nutrition and strengthen resilience. Since 1978, we have provided about US$15.8 billion in grants and low-interest loans to projects that have reached some 430 million people. IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized United Nations agency based in Rome – the UN’s food and agriculture hub.

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