The aim of the new ASAP-M project is to improve MSME performance by supporting five large national professional associations involved in various agricultural sectors (organic agriculture, beekeeping, aromatic plants, and cattle), thereby improving the services delivered to their members. The Moroccan economy is dominated by micro-, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that contribute up to 90% of GDP but feature a low level of professionalization. Despite remarkable economic growth in Morocco, neither professional associations nor the state adequately address the needs of MSMEs.
The ASAP-M approach is to strengthen associations' institutional planning and governance capacities to improve the services they offer to their members nationwide, as well as their abilities to lobby for improved framework conditions in order to promote inclusive economic growth on behalf of their members. This approach also improves competitiveness of rural MSMEs and of those that can then generate sustainable income and employment. The Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Fisheries (MAPM) is our national implementing partner.
In Morocco, nearly 53% of women cannot read or write, according to the Moroccan High Commission for Planning (2012). In rural areas, this figure reaches 71.8%, a finding further exacerbated by the fact that half of active women work in agriculture.
The project proposes to confront the issue of gender inequalities in rural and agricultural contexts along two strategic axes:
5 professional associations representing 3 sectors (red meat, beekeeping and organic horticulture) have benefited from the project and have integrated the new approaches for improving value creation in their supply chains into their member services.
During 168 days, capacity building training and workshops on the different topics were held in the two regions Daraa Tafilalet and Beni Mellal Khenifra.
51% of the training sessions carried out were based on the implementation principles of field schools, especially for the organic, beekeeping and red meat sectors.
4 other services are in the process of consolidation and operationalisation by the associations. These are mainly membership management and information systems.
1660 production companies benefit from the new association services.
15 women were supported in carpet production and marketing.
5 ecological production cooperatives were founded.
121 production companies were given access to new marketing channels.
5 conventions between the associations and other actors (FAO, MAPMDREF, Regional Chamber of Agriculture, etc.) have been agreed upon for the expansion of services.
7 new services were introduced by the associations to strengthen institutions and optimise agricultural value chains.
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