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SIAM 2019: Between expectations, frustrations and hopes …

Opened with great pomp Tuesday, April 16 by HRH Prince Moulay El Hassan, the International Exhibition of Agriculture in Morocco, SIAM, already asserts itself, for its fourteenth edition, as an undeniable success.

Indeed, if it is appreciated by the yardstick of the areas devoted, the number of exhibitors and their completeness in terms of offers and geographical origin, this SIAM is better than the previous one and confirms, if need be, the crucial importance of the agricultural sector for the national economy.

And we bet that at its close, the official record of the organizers will testify amply of that.

But, is it necessary to hide what can not be, so as to remain in the cozy comfort of voluntary ignorance?

Agriculture employs 38.7% of the total labor force in our country.

This is a datum that confirms its strategic position, but does not obviate the fact that the majority is low-skilled, low-paid jobs.

It is therefore with good reason that the problematic of this 14th SIAM gives employment the preponderant part, both to deter the rural exodus (especially young people), but also to guarantee the inhabitants of our countryside purchasing and material means worthy of their expectations.

But how to answer this problem if no debate, no collective reflection of the actors concerned are organized on the occasion of this SIAM?

Admittedly, round tables are held, organized panels of experts, but the sector, unlike in previous years, was deprived of its traditional sitting, which for several years preceded the very opening of the SIAM.
No high mass therefore and the ministry in charge of this sector did not find it useful to inform the public opinion in advance.

Why this silence ? Nature being horrified by the void, the most fanciful rumors have filled the whites left by the services of Mr. Akhannouch, who on many fronts as everyone knows and who pays for himself, would probably have won to make a communication effort on this topic.

The second point that deserves comment is that of upgrading the agricultural world, not only in terms of equipment or infrastructure, inputs or funding, technology or digitization, but in terms of training operators of the agricultural world.

If Maroc Telecom offers a “smart greenhouse”, confirming the anchoring of the telecom operator led by Mr. Ahizoune among rural people, if the OCP brings innovative solutions for fertilization, if the Credit Agricole of Morocco, (with others certainly), affirms its implantation in the countryside, or if the MAMDA-MCMA presents products adapted to the rural context, one sometimes has the painful impression that access to these offers, products, systems, is still too little widespread.

Yet, as the Green Morocco Plan draws to a close, (at least in its first phase), the stakes are enormous for the national economy.

Because, without sustained and sustainable agricultural GDP, there will be no sustainable economic takeoff for the Kingdom, nor general improvement of the living conditions for a very large part of its population!

Forecasts of a fairly average cereal harvest, compared with 110 million quintals last year, and rainfall dependence, are elements that encourage reflection in anticipation of decisive action on all the issues facing the rural world.

And so neither incident nor innocent for the 2019 edition, the guest of honor is the Swiss Confederation, the country where cows are always big and the grass scandalously fat!

Because Switzerland, a mountainous country if it is, has nevertheless shown its strong capabilities in agriculture, the diversity of its productions, the strength and power of its agri-food sector, the appetence of its companies for innovation, etc…

This, without counting irremediable commitments in favor of an agriculture that respects the highest environmental standards, prohibits genetically modified products (GMOs) and asserts itself as a champion of sustainable development.

It is therefore useful and positive that the Agriculture of Morocco is inspired by the Swiss model, as far as possible and that the “best practices” Swiss try at home.

This, however, will not deprive us of the exercise of a frank and honest assessment of the progress and shortcomings generated by the Green Morocco Plan I.

The pursuit of our goals and the achievement of our ambitions for our campaigns and those who live there are at this price.

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