Morocco : Agriculture To Catalyze Youth Employment And Entrepreneurship – OpEd


Morocco is in the process of elaborating a new and comprehensive strategy for the benefit of the rural world in order to create new activities that will generate employment and income, mainly for the youth.

This can be certainly done through broadening the scope of agricultural investment to all categories, while promoting the emergence of an agricultural middle class and making more accessible agricultural land to productive investment through gradually providing an additional one million hectares of collective land to the beneficiaries, as outlined in the Royal Speech delivered at the official opening of the parliament last Friday.
In fact, Morocco is in need to renew and refocus its investment in agriculture that will catalyze youth engagement, employment, and entrepreneurship in the rural world.
It is absolutely normal to see the majority of youth in Morocco , as in the rest of the world, claiming that their future is outside agriculture. For that reason, they are always tempted to leave their villages and small towns and go to large cities in an unsuccessful search for jobs that usually require technical skills that unfortunately those young job-seekers lack.

So now the challenge that Morocco is facing is how to make agriculture jobs more appealing to the youth and especially to make the agricultural sector more competitive through innovation, public investment in supportive rural public goods and services. For that reason, infrastructure and the development of both villages and small towns is of paramount importance. Villages and towns should absolutely become sufficiently attractive to young and older farmers alike. Electricity, potable water, roads, schools, hospitals, sport and cultural centers and mainly on site vocational training centers should be on top priority of the government agenda. This remains equally important to reach the twin goals of eradicating extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity.

Many young Moroccans still live in rural areas, and the majority of them are having odd jobs in the agricultural sector. However, agriculture in most of the regions is marked by low productivity and underdevelopment. A serious major challenge that limit the capacity—and appeal—of employment opportunities in this key sector.

The government should absolutely take this challenge seriously and Invest more in agricultural transformation so that it will become more effective in advancing youth livelihoods, alleviate poverty and ensure more prosperity for the farmers.

Young people who lack economic opportunities to lift themselves out of poverty can easily become prey of extremism, crime, social unrest, or illegal migration. A transformed agricultural performed by skillful young workers will minimize all those social scourge and help young Moroccans living in rural areas to alleviate poverty and to improve their living conditions. So now the ball is in the government’s court. A comprehensive agricultural strategy will certainly generate employment among youth over the coming decades, and businesses around farming, including processing, packaging, transportation, distribution, marketing and financial services, could also create jobs for young people.

Said Temsamani

Said Temsamani is a Moroccan political observer and consultant, who follows events in his country and across North Africa. He is a member of Washington Press Club.

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