In the framework of the partnership relations between the Kingdom of Morocco and the European Union (EU), the Minister of Agriculture, Maritime Fisheries, Rural Development and Water and Forestry, Mohamed Sadiki, chaired a few days ago the launching ceremony of the twinning project in the field of aquaculture reinforcement in Morocco. The project will be financed by the EU with EUR 250,000, and will support the efforts of the National Agency for the Development of Aquaculture (ANDA) for the implementation of new projects and to provide tools to operators, while respecting biosecurity.
The event was attended by Patricia Llombart Cussac, Ambassador of the European Union, and Hélène Le Gal, French Ambassador to Morocco. The institutional twinning initiative is part of the multi-sectoral cooperation program ‘Succeeding in the Advanced State’ (RSA II), financed by the EU. Thus, the Union will collaborate with ANDA in assisting the installation of aquaculture projects and will give private actors in the sector the relevant and essential tools to place them on the scale of responsible aquaculture producers.
Development of best practices in the sector
The twinning project will last eight months and will be funded by the EU with 250,000 euros (about MAD 2.75 million). It will be carried out in collaboration with the French Ministries of Agriculture and Food and of the Sea, and will be managed with the support of the Treasury and Foreign Finance Directorate of the Moroccan Ministry of Economy and Finance.
Among other objectives, the twinning project is also expected to be of great help for the development of best practices in the aquaculture sector.
As next steps to achieve the objectives of the joint project, a team of French experts will be mobilized to strengthen the capacities of institutional and private stakeholders in biosecurity, good aquaculture practices and labeling of national aquaculture products.
ANDA’s hard work
Interest in aquaculture in Morocco has grown markedly in recent years. In fact, 259 agreements were made in 2021 for the creation and operation of aquaculture centers. Among these projects, 168 have already started the installation of their farms in the different regions of the Kingdom for a production of more than 80,000 tons/year and the creation of more than 2,000 jobs.
In addition, with regard to coastal planning for aquaculture, five regional development plans have been drawn up in Morocco, which have revealed a production potential of over 8,000 hectares. The plans were drawn up for the regions of Guelmim-Oued-Noun, Laâyoune-Sakia El Hamra, Casablanca-Settat, Marrakech-Safi and the Marchica lagoon.
In addition, ANDA launched last year a Call for Expression of Interest (EOI) for the implementation of new aquaculture projects in the Dakhla-Oued Eddahab, Guelmim-Oued Noun, Souss-Massa, Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima and Oriental regions. Thus, more than 100 aquaculture farm projects were selected for a production target of 100,000 tons/year.
Another $2.5 million to support production
In the same vein, and aware of the growing importance of local aquaculture development, the Department of Maritime Fisheries of the Ministry of Agriculture, ANDA and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) financed a EUR 2.5 million project to support aquaculture development. The project includes the installation of a fish farming and shellfish farming demonstration and training station in Sidi Ifni.
ANDA provides administrative and technical support to 116 social aquaculture projects, led by groups of young entrepreneurs and women’s and fishermen’s cooperatives, to help them implement their projects.