unctad.org | Morocco's rosemary, thyme and olive producers propose national actions to improve production efficiency, output and product quality
Morocco's rosemary, thyme and olive producers propose national actions to improve production efficiency, output and product quality
04 May 2016
Morocco national action plans for two aromatic and medicinal plants - thyme and rosemary - and for olive products - table olives and olive oil - were discussed by over 65 national stakeholders in two back-to-back workshops convened in Fes, Morocco on 2 and 3 May 2016 respectively.

UNCTAD and the Ministry Charged with Environment (MCE) jointly organized these specialized workshops for producers, cooperatives, downstream processors and exporters as components of the 2nd National Stakeholder Workshop of Morocco's National Green Export Review (NGER) aimed at developing recommendations and a national action plan for the aromatic and medicinal plants and olive sectors.


Results of the Fes workshops will be reviewed and considered for adoption and support by policy-makers and other stakeholders in the third component of Morocco's 2nd National Stakeholder Workshop organized in Rabat on 5 May 2016.

Numerous actions were proposed by stakeholders at the Fes workshops. After reviewing detailed studies prepared and presented by the NGER national experts, Ms Saadia Zrira (Aromatic and Medicinal Plants) and Mr Mohamed Rahmani (Olives), stakeholders participated in interactive discussions and tabled actions for consideration by the groups.


Aromatic and Medicinal Plants

Key actions proposed included:

  • Creation of integrated production schemes encompassing the entire value chain from production to export, with an emphasis of building stronger product links between cooperative producers and processors.

  • Allocation of land usage rights for producers to expand production through cultivation of thyme and rosemary on potentially productive state-owned lands which remain fallow.

  • Modernizing essential oils production using newer technologies.

  • Enhancing producers' access to standards and organic certification schemes to improve quality and export potential of AMP products.

Moreover, and as nearly all thyme and rosemary in Morocco is currently sourced from wild forests, the importance of enhancing coordination with Morocco's High Commission for Forests to ensure resource sustainability while reducing desertification was emphasised.

Stakeholders also expressed high expectations for coordinated and focused assistance with production, marketing and export from a national AMP agency which has recently been established.


Table Olives and Olive Oil

In the olive sector, stakeholders sought to improve quality and productivity in the sector while enhancing market penetration both domestically and in international markets.

Recommendations included:

  • Broadening olive varieties under production.

  • Increasing tree densities in orchards to boost production levels.

  • Making better use of the domestic market as a testing ground for exports including by raising consumer awareness on quality issues.

  • Diversifying export markets beyond the US and EU by targeting higher growth markets in Latin America, the Middle East and East Asia.

  • Enhancing producers' awareness of consumer preferences in foreign markets.

  • Revisiting legislation that inhibits the sustainable use of olive oil production residue streams.

Stakeholders also emphasized that governance in the sector remains fragmented among many national ministries, and that a dedicated national agency for olive production would improve output quality and output levels.

In closing the Fes workshops, Ms Nadia Zine, MCE, informed stakeholders that their inputs would be considered by national policy-makers participating in the final wrap-up component of Morocco's 2nd National Stakeholder Workshop in Rabat on 5 May 2016.


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