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El Mahdi Arrifi, General Director Of The Moroccan Agency For Agricultural Development, ADA

Highlighting Investment Opportunities

The Novi Sad International Agricultural Fair, the most important event for farmers at the level of Southeast Europe, was an opportunity to highlight the various investment opportunities that abound in Morocco

The new Green Generation Strategy 2020- 2030 should enable Moroccan agriculture to become much more efficient and double the sector’s share in the Kingdom’s GDP, says ADA General Director El Mahdi Arrifi, speaking for CorD Magazine.

Under the reign of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, Morocco has undertaken several initiatives to promote the agricultural sector, notably the Green Generation Strategy 2020-2030. In your opinion, will this strategy make it possible to direct agriculture towards export?

The Green Generation 2020-2030 Strategy, launched by His Majesty King Mohammed VI on 13th February 2020, aims to consolidate the achievements made under the Green Morocco Plan through the adoption of a new vision and the implementation of modern means in the service of the agricultural sector. This strategy has placed the human element at the centre of its priorities, with the aim of promoting the emergence of a new generation of the agricultural middle class. The Green Morocco Plan has transformed agriculture into an engine of modern, competitive and inclusive economic and social development. This plan has led to remarkable growth in agricultural production and exports. Indeed, Moroccan agricultural exports reached a value of nearly four billion euros during 2019, i.e., 2.8 times the value recorded in 2009 (€1.4 billion). In terms of volume, agricultural exports reached around 2.3 million tons in 2019, an increase of 64% compared to 2009 (t1.4 million). Thanks to the Green Morocco Plan, Morocco has positioned itself among the world’s leading exporters of various agricultural products. For instance, the country is now the world’s number one exporter of capers and argan oil, the world’s third biggest exporter of canned olives and small citrus fruits, and the fourth biggest exporter of tomatoes.

The new Green Generation 2020-2030 Strategy should enable Moroccan agriculture to become much more efficient. The main objective remains to double the sector’s share in the Kingdom’s GDP, which currently stands at 12.3%. There is also a question of alleviating the trade balance by exporting more products with high added value: the value of agricultural exports must thus increase from 3.4 billion euros in 2018 to 6 billion in 2030.

The Year of Morocco in Serbia was marked by Morocco’s first ever participation in the Novi Sad International Agricultural Fair. How would you rate this participation and was it useful in terms of networking?

Indeed, the Agency for Agricultural Development (ADA), with the support of the Moroccan Embassy in Belgrade, organised Moroccan participation in the 89th edition of the Novi Sad International Agricultural Fair, which was held from 21st to 27th May 2022, through the establishment of an institutional pavilion of 80m². We had the honour of receiving, during the inauguration of this important event, the visit of their excellencies Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.

The main objective of our participation was to promote investment and the business climate in the agricultural sector in Morocco, while highlighting required data that might be of interest to the Serbian audience and showcasing typical Moroccan products.

On the side-lines of this Fair, ADA hosted, in the presence of His Excellency the Ambassador of Morocco in Belgrade, an economic conference on investment opportunities in the agricultural sector in Morocco as part of the Green Generation Strategy.

In terms of networking, ADA organised B2B meetings throughout the duration of the Fair with institutions, companies and Serbian investors operating in the agricultural sector and interested in investing in Morocco.

This most important agricultural event at the level of Southeast Europe was an opportunity to highlight the various investment opportunities that abound in Morocco and that can entice investors from Balkan countries.