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  • Closed Compact Report:  Closed Compact Report: Morocco Compact
  • October 2015

Fruit Tree Productivity Project

  • $300,898,447Original Compact Project Amount
  • $323,369,991Total Disbursed

Estimated Benefits

Estimated Benefits for the Fruit Tree Productivity Project
Time Estimated Economic Rate of Return (ERR) over 20 years Estimated beneficiaries over 20 years Estimated net benefits over 20 years
At compact closure 19.7 percent 574,111 $449,095,000

Estimated benefits corresponds to $282.7 million of project funds, where cost-benefit analysis was conducted.

Project Description

Morocco is a country where labor is abundant and inexpensive while water is scarce and costly. Many Moroccan farmers grow wheat and other grains that are subject to uncertain water availability, with the consequence of highly variable production. The Government of Morocco has encouraged the planting of more productive perennial tree crops, such as olives, almonds and dates, that are better suited for Morocco’s climate and resources. Moroccan farmers have been traditionally unable to mobilize the resources necessary to modernize and move toward higher-value perennial crops due to factors like a lack of financing, information or access to markets. Aligned with the government’s agricultural policy and developed in conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture, the Fruit Tree Productivity Project was designed to:

  • stimulate growth in the agricultural sector by moving from high water-use, low-value cereal grains to low water-use, high-value commercial fruit tree species;
  • reduce volatility of agricultural production and farm revenues by expanding the area of commercial tree species better positioned to handle moisture stress;
  • protect the natural resource base by replacing hillside wheat production with trees that reduce erosion and conserve soil; and
  • organize and link extremely poor, small-holder farmers to high-value markets.

By the end of the compact, more than 40,000 farmers were trained, 60,084 hectares of olive and almond trees were planted, 114 olive and date value-chain processors were assisted, and $18.6 million was disbursed under the Catalyst Fund to stimulate private sector investment in the olive oil value chain.

Evaluation Findings

MCC conducted a performance evaluation on the Olive Plantation Expansion in Rain-Fed Areas Activity.  The results of that evaluation revealed that:

  • The impact of planting more than 57,000 hectares of olive trees was estimated by an independent evaluator as potentially positive on farmers’ income, food security, and on reducing poverty, with an estimated ERR of 10.4% .  While the ERR depends on a number of variables associated with eventual olive production upon the development of young trees, it also depends on whether intercropping of cereal crops will be practiced and on yields and prices. The ability of farmers to cultivate both high-value olives and food staple cereals is likely to enhance the food security of participating households.
  • While data on beneficiary poverty levels is not available, the evaluation did confirm that poverty levels in the targeted provinces are indeed high. As a positive spillover of the project, the implementation of the planting Activity generated the equivalent of 5.6 million man-days of employment opportunities.  Moreover, planted trees are expected to generate 4,700 to 5,000 permanent seasonal employment opportunities per year at full development.

MCC also conducted a performance and impact evaluation of the Rain-Fed Olive Tree Rehabilitation Activity. That evaluation’s tentative results were:

  • The evaluation was unable to detect measurable improvements in production, productivity, or agricultural revenue. The analysis found a positive impact on the adoption of some of the best practices that were part of training, such as pruning, water management practices, and use of specialized equipment for harvesting.  However, with the exception of harvesting equipment usage, the evaluation was not able to determine conclusively that the adoption of these best practices were caused by the program, as opposed to practices the farmers would have adopted anyway.
  • The short timeframe of the analysis is likely an important contributing factor to the lack of impact found by the analysis, with the evaluation’s analysis being based on data collected less than a year after training was completed. Farmers may continue to adopt and disseminate best practices over time.

An interim performance evaluation of the whole Fruit Tree Productivity Project was also completed in the closing months of the Compact.  That evaluation’s interim results revealed:

  • The evaluation noted that expected impacts were not yet apparent at project closure, due mostly to the short duration of the assessment. Nonetheless, the evaluation does reveal positive and encouraging assessments from beneficiaries. The evaluation also reported positive results on farmers’ individual and collective capacities through training, mentoring and technical support. The sector-wide approach and self-organization process fostered better social and economic integration for traditionally marginalized groups. Particularly the project’s gender-sensitive approach and the female pilot projects helped improve the social and economic status of women, as they are now more involved in new local development dynamics, representing more than 10% of the members of the groups set up as part of the project. Conversely, the situation of young people in targeted communities has not shown such improvement due to the lack of specifically targeted approaches.

A follow-up performance and impact evaluation of key activities is expected in 2019. This evaluation will measure the project’s medium- to long-term results in terms of crop yields, number of hectares rehabilitated, adoption rates of improved practices by farmers, the impact of irrigation infrastructure on revenue and crop yields, and economic performance of olive and date processing units.

Key performance indicators and outputs at compact end date

Key performance indicators and outputs at compact end date
Activity/Outcome Key Performance Indicator Baseline End of Compact Target Quarter 1 through Quarter 20 Actuals (as of Dec 2013) Percent Compact Target Satisfied (as of Dec 2013)
Catalyst Fund Activity Disbursements under the Catalyst Fund (USD) 0 19,200,000 18,603,263 97%
Number of CF proposals approved 0 20 0 100%
Date Tree Irrigation and Rehabilitation in PMH- irrigated Areas Activity Average agricultural revenue per farm in oasis areas (USD)
  • Low agricultural performance (yields, revenues) is due to unfavorable weather conditions in 2011-12 in comprison to the baseline year (2008-09).
4,740 5,830 5,057 29%
Hectares under improved irrigation 0 19,393 19,393 100%
Number of invitro seedlings successfully planted 0 250,000 250,967 100%
Yield of rehabilitated date palms in oasis areas (mt/ha)
  • Low agricultural performance (yields, revenues) is due to unfavorable weather conditions in 2011-12 in comprison to the baseline year (2008-09).
36.3 51 28.8 -51%
Fruit Tree Sector Services Activity Farmers trained (in all areas targeted by the Project) 0 4,200 40,863 97%
Olive Tree Irrigation and Rehabilitation Activity Cumulative area of irrigated perimeters rehabilitated (ha) 0 33,983 33,983 100%
Yield of rehabilitated olive trees in irrigated areas (mt/ha)
  • Low agricultural performance (yields, revenues) is due to unfavorable weather conditions in 2011-12 in comprison to the baseline year (2008-09).
4.2 6 2.66 -86%
Rain-fed Olive and Almond Tree Rehabilitation and Expansion Activity Area in expansion perimeters for which water and soil conservation measures have been implemented (ha) 0 41,901 33,038 79%
Area planted and delivered to farmers (ha) 0 60,372 60,804 101%