Agri-food professionals have learned the lessons of the Covid-19 crisis, which has hit global supply chains hard. Today, they have a flagship project, that of developing local sourcing, knowing that the sector has an import substitution potential of around 10 billion dirhams.
The Russian-Ukrainian conflict has aggravated the disruption of supply chains, already hard hit by the Covid-19 crisis. Drawing lessons from this painful experience, Moroccan companies are finally moving, now seeking by all means proximity and security for their supply.
In the agri-food sector, the time is not only for awareness but for urgency. The conclusion is clear ! While the food industry sector is of strategic importance in the national industrial fabric, given its role in food security and sovereignty, professionals depend on imports, particularly those of manufactured inputs.
The bill is estimated today at 18 billion dirhams (MMDH), nearly 60% of which are imported. Basically, the sector has an import substitution potential of around 10 billion dirhams. It is in this context, moreover, that the supervision and the professionals recorded, at the beginning of the week, a deal around four partnership agreements for the development of local sourcing with local operators.
In addition to the Minister of Industry and Trade, the signatories are, among others, the National Federation of Agribusiness (FENAGRI), the National Federation of Fisheries Product Processing and Valorization Industries (FENIP), the Moroccan Plastics Federation (FMP), the Federation of Forest, Graphic Arts and Packaging Industries (FIFAGE) and the Federation of Metallurgical, Mechanical and Electromechanical Industries (FIMME).
A gain of 8 billion dirhams, for the trade balance by 2026
This partnership, which is part of the Royal vision whose objective is to encourage competitive local production with a view to strengthening the industrial and food sovereignty of the Kingdom, fits perfectly with the strategy of the ministry which is based, in particular, on an import substitution approach.
Its objective is to strengthen local integration by creating synergies and win-win partnerships between the food industries and other industrial ecosystems, in particular the plastics and packaging industries as well as the mechanical and metallurgical industries.
Concretely, it is expected the generation of a gain of 8 billion dirhams, for the trade balance, by 2026 and the creation of 7,500 direct industrial jobs in the long term. Today, the sector includes 2,000 companies. With a figure of 160 billion dirhams, including 36 billion dirhams for export, it employs more than 152,000 people, according to CNSS figures for 2020.
This is confirmed by Hamid Felloun, Director General of the National Federation of Agribusiness (Fenagri). He believes that the signing of these conventions is good fertilizer for achieving industrial sovereignty, which requires increasing the rate of integration of the agri-food sector, in general. “This rate is, today, below our aspirations, namely between 25 and 30%, while that of other national industries such as the automobile are at more than 60%”, explains Hamid Felloun for whom integration rhymes with competitiveness and improvement of the entire value chain.
“We have identified a significant potential in terms of import substitution of manufactured inputs which offers undeniable investment opportunities”, underlined Ryad Mezzour, Monday in Rabat, before the presidents of professional associations and federations of the agro-food industry sector (IAA ).
It should be noted that much remains to be done in Morocco, particularly in terms of processing, which constitutes an important lever for promoting agricultural production and improving its added value, as illustrated in a report by the Economic, Social and environment (CESE). If the production of fruits and vegetables intended for export records, for example, 2 million tons, the processing industry represents only 0.5 million, or 4% of national production, the rest, or 9 million tons, being sold on the local market.
Khadim Mbaye / ECO Inspirations