Morocco - Country Commercial Guide
Agricultural Sector

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2020-12-10

Overview

Agriculture contributes almost 15% to Morocco’s GDP, and combined with the fishing and forestry sectors employs about 45% of Morocco’s workforce.  It has an outsized impact on the economy due to highly variable rain-irrigation-based grain production, its role as an employer, and its role as a major export industry.

Moroccan agriculture is divided into three major sectors:

  1. Modern, private, irrigated, highly capitalized, and export-oriented farms producing mostly fruits and vegetables;
  2. Agriculture within large scale dam-irrigated perimeters producing dairy, sugar, seeds, fruits and vegetables primarily for the local market; and
  3. Rain-fed agriculture with more favorable land in the northwest (growing grains, olives, pulses, red meat and dairy) and less favorable land in the south and east (growing mostly grains and non-intensive sheep production).

Many Moroccan agricultural producers continue to use traditional technologies and have limited access to production inputs such as fertilizers, pesticides and mechanization.  The prevalence of small farms, complicated land title issues, and increasing land prices pose serious challenges to agricultural policy makers. Policy makers struggle with the conflicting principles of economies of scale, the capitalization requirements necessary to modernize the agricultural sector, and the desire to alleviate poverty and maintain the social structure of traditional rural society.

In February 2020, the Government of Morocco launched its second strategic plan for agriculture.  The new plan, called “Generation Green,” sets out an agricultural development strategy through 2030.  It has two pillars:

  1. Develop a new agricultural middle class representing between 350,000 and 400,000 households by supporting young entrepreneurs through the mobilization of one million hectares of collective lands and the creation of 350,000 jobs with a focus on high-value agriculture. 
  2. Promote human and social development.

Trade

Morocco is a net importer of agricultural and related products. Morocco typically imports bulk commodities and raw materials from the United States and exports high-value, consumer-oriented products to the United States.  The European Union is Morocco’s primary trading partner, accounting for about 60% of Morocco’s agricultural exports.

The United States is a net exporter of agricultural and related products to Morocco, although U.S. competitiveness has waned in recent years due to increased global competition following Moroccan grain tariff reforms.  U.S. exports of bulk agricultural commodities are heavily dependent on fluctuating Moroccan production and competition from competing origins.

Moroccan Imports of U.S. Agricultural, Fishery, and Forestry Products*
Moroccan Imports of U.S. Agricultural, Fishery, and Forestry Products*

*Bulk and intermediate exports consist primarily of animal feed ingredients.

Source: Trade Data Monitor

The U.S.-Morocco FTA provisions have been fully implemented for all agricultural products except:

  • Confectionary and chocolate
  • Peas and lentils

More information may be found at:

Best Prospects for Morocco:

  • Feed grains (corn and DDGS)
  • Soybeans, soybean meal, and soybean oil
  • Pulses
  • Live animals and genetics
  • Beef
  • Poultry
  • Dairy Products
  • Dried fruit and nuts
  • Rice

Web Resources

U.S. Trade Associations:

In-country contacts:

Office of Agricultural Affairs, U.S. Embassy Rabat

Phone: (+212) 357 76 59 87

Web: https://ma.usembassy.gov/embassy-consulate/rabat/sections-offices/usda/

Email:         AgRabat@fas.gov

List of FAS Commodity Reports and Briefs:

The Office of Agricultural Affairs publishes reports available at https://gain.fas.usda.gov/, including, for example:

  • Exporter Guide
  • Retail Foods
  • Food Service - Hotel Restaurant Institutional
  • Food Processing Ingredients
  • Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards - Narrative
  • Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards - Certification
  • Agricultural Biotechnology Annual
  • Grain and Feed
  • Citrus