EBRD boosts agriculture in southern Morocco

By Nibal Zgheib

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Strengthening Maïsadour’s fruit and vegetable production in the Agadir region

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is bolstering the agribusiness sector in Morocco with a €2.5 million senior loan to Maïsadour Maroc and Maïsadour Agri Maroc, subsidiaries of Groupe Coopératif Maïsadour, an important French agricultural cooperative.

The EBRD financing will help Maïsadour to expand its production of quality fruit and vegetables in Morocco and particularly the rural region of Souss-Massa in southern Morocco.

Production is organised both on Maïsadour’s own plantations and in cooperation with 25 local farms. With this EBRD-financed project Maïsadour will increase the number of local partners it works with, therefore allowing more farms to benefit from Maïsadour’s know-how, technical support and access to international markets. Maïsadour helps its local partners to achieve international standards such as those promoted by GlobalG.A.P.

The environmental dimension is also central to this support. A dedicated team assists the producers in the implementation of good environmental practices similar to those promoted by the Linking Environment And Farming (LEAF) organisation.

The production primarily concerns sweetcorn, red berries and various types of lettuce which are distributed by well-known international specialists such as Barfoot’s of Botley, Bonduelle, Driscoll’s of Europe and Florette in France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom.

Victoria Zinchuk, Acting EBRD Director for Agribusiness, said: "Morocco’s favourable climate conditions and its proximity to European markets make its agricultural sector very attractive for exports. After the EBRD’s first two transactions with Maïsadour in Ukraine, we are very pleased to support the cooperative in the expansion of its operations in the rural regions of Morocco."

Régis Fournier, Director for International Operations of Maïsadour explained: "This transaction will be crucial for Maïsadour’s expansion programme in Morocco and for achieving our growth objectives. This new financing will strengthen the fruitful long-term partnership between Maïsadour and the EBRD."

The EBRD started investing in Morocco in 2012. To date, the Bank has invested over €1 billion in 26 projects across the country.

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