Market access facilitation for selected value chains of typical food products in Morocco

More and more consumers are searching for authenticity and are willing to pay higher prices for typical food products that are deeply rooted in the culture and tradition of their territories of origin. For small-scale rural producers, this new trend signifies a major opportunity. It frees them from having to compete on price with standardized products in commodity markets and rewards them for the maintenance of biodiversity and cultural heritage in niche markets.

UNIDO is implementing a project in Morocco with funding from the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) of the Swiss Government. Launched in 2013, the “Projet d’accès aux marchés des produits agroalimentaires et de terroir” (PAMPAT) aims at improving the performance, market access and socio-economic conditions of argan oil and the prickly pear value chains in Morocco.

UNIDO is strengthening the organization and governance of the selected value chains, improving the productivity, quality compliance and product development of small-scale rural producers, and enhancing their position in both domestic and export markets. UNIDO is also helping to ensure that the products comply with the requirements of recently introduced geographical indications, in order to position them in higher niche markets and allow the producers to obtain a premium price and higher revenues. PAMPAT will also improve the environmental sustainability of the value chains.

The project includes the organization of the first national competition of terroir products and a south-south cooperation component, which envisages: a) exchanges of experiences between Morocco Tunisia and Egypt, where UNIDO is implementing a value chain project also financed by SECO on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants; b) the participation of UNIDO in three regional trainings on Geographical Indications as a tool for rural development targeting sub-Saharan countries.

The project has been designed and is being implemented in close cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and local stakeholders. Special attention is placed on supporting young entrepreneurs, women and producers from disadvantaged regions. The traditional products are deeply rooted in local rural communities. By adding value along the entire value chain the project offers promising prospects in terms of improving livelihoods, creating jobs and promoting sustainable and inclusive local economic development.

A twin project, also financed by SECO, is being implemented in Tunisia, where the harissa, fig of Djebba and the prickly pear value chains have been selected.


Fabio Russo
UNIDO Project Manager

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