Mohammed Sadiki recognizes imbalances in wholesale markets

the minister of Agriculture, Maritime Fisheries, Rural Development and Waters and Forests Mohammed Sadiki confirmed the veracity of the content of the report of the Court of Auditors on wholesale markets.

The latter, which had pinned the supervision of Agriculture, indicated in all its splendor the situation of the wholesale markets for vegetables and fruits, and the imbalances and weaknesses in the infrastructures as well as the chaos caused by brokers or intermediaries. In a previous opinion on the marketing of agricultural products, the Economic and Social Council (CES) stressed that wholesale markets needed structural reform.

Commenting on the content of the report of the Court of Auditors before the House of Councilors on Tuesday, the minister said: “Current wholesale markets suffer from problems and imbalances, including weak infrastructure, lack of services and an inappropriate business model, which affects their attractiveness. In addition, the multiplicity of intermediaries leads to high prices“.

Also, the Minister explained that his supervision was working with the Ministries of the Interior and Trade to develop a reform plan aimed at modernizing these markets, based on a market master plan which aims for a balanced coverage of the national territory to better serve population. Mohammed Sadiki explained that this plan depended on the modernization of the infrastructure of the markets with an appropriate capacity and a structure that can meet international standards, in addition to making them markets with multiple products and activities.

The Minister indicated that these markets should include cooling and storage stations, sorting and mobilization workshops for agricultural resources, as well as waste treatment workshops, and health services which his services were working on for this purpose. TO DO. The Minister explained that he was aware of the report of the Court of Auditors which criticized the management method of these establishments, and that his supervision had to be more effective in order to allow the development of these establishments and adopt an efficient partnership. with the private sector.

The government official further indicated that the most important effects expected from this reform are the improvement of the value chain of marketed agricultural products, which will positively affect the quality of the products, in addition to increasing the volume of vegetables and of fruit passing through these markets, from 3.5 million tonnes per year to more than 6 million tonnes.

This should create significant employment opportunities (approximately 100,000 positions). Sadiki confirmed that his ministry has embarked on the implementation of a pilot project for these markets in Rabat in partnership with local authorities, and is also working on the establishment of 4 wholesale markets in Berkane, Meknes, Marrakech and Agadir, in addition to a bill to allow producers to directly market vegetables and fruits to circumvent the intervention of brokers.

The number of wholesale markets in our country is 38, spread over 32, regions, provinces and prefectures marketing 3.5 million tons of fruit and vegetables, or 30% of national production, allowing an annual turnover of around 7 billion dirhams. The stakeholders consist of 3,700 producers, 4,600 wholesalers, 374 agents. These markets employ more than 20,000 people nationwide.

According to an identification carried out by the supervision of Agriculture, Trade and Industry, the wholesale markets would suffer from a certain number of dysfunctions, linked in particular to the mode of management, the state of equipment, taxation , the lack of respect for hygiene, health and safety rules, while the legal framework of these markets is obsolete and dates back to 1962.

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