Morocco is on the way from an agricultural country to a service and industrial society. The royal house and the financial and economic elites follow a pragmatic line, with a mix of free market economy, moderate regulation, strengthening of the domestic economy and connection to the world market. A central aspect is the cooperation with the European Union, especially with France and Spain. With a market share of around six percent, Germany is Morocco's fifth most important trading partner. Another important axis is the cooperation with the Arab Gulf states.
In 2015, Morocco committed itself to the UN's SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals), which provide for a further reduction in poverty and inequality by 2030. Concrete measures included the rehabilitation and demolition of slums, the expansion of electricity and water supply (private and agricultural), job creation programmes and reforms in the education system. This also includes the "Plan Maroc Vert", which the government has been pursuing since 2008. The Maroc Vert Plan aims to promote the modernisation of agriculture and job creation in this sector. Agriculture currently accounts for around 15 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP). The development plan aims to double the share of GDP. Statutory minimum wages apply in industry and agriculture.
In the sparsely populated desert regions, oases are people's livelihoods. This also applies to the cultivation region Errachidia south of the High Atlas mountains, which offers water and vegetation, food and work only in the oases on the river Oued Ziz. It is not without reason that the long-lived date palm is also called the "tree of life" in the Bible. For thousands of years they have been closely linked to the culture of the country. At the same time, they form a natural barrier against progressive desertification.
Dates play a special role not only in Moroccan culture, but also economically. On around 50,000 hectares in the south of the country, around five million date palms are cultivated in the oases, which produce around 110,000 tonnes of dates per year. Not enough for the domestic market: 30 percent more dates have to be imported from other growing countries such as Tunisia, Algeria or Iraq.
ForestFinance will install the olive-date agroforestry system in the province of Errachidia, in the Moroccan region of Drâa-Tafilalet. The Drâa-Tafilalet region extends in the southeast of the kingdom and is famous for its palm oases. The landscape is mostly desert-like, only the Oued Ziz valley offers lush vegetation. The population lives mainly from the cultivation of palm oases. The gardens in the Palmerie, the green zone along the river bank, are paradisiacal. There vegetables and fruit grow between the palm trees and give people work and food. Here also grow date palms up to 100 years old, which are cared for by the residents. The inhabitants of the region are experts in the cultivation of dates and olives. The weather is excellent, as it rarely rains and the sun ensures that the fruits ripen quickly.