The collapse of all the world's economies as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc in the vast majority of the world's countries. With the arrival of the vaccine, the data for 2021 have improved considerably, reflecting a significant increase, especially when compared with the statistics for 2020. In the case of Morocco, the latest indicators show a growth of 15.2% compared to last year's data, with the main booming sector being agriculture, which is more than 18% above the 2020 data.
"The recovery should continue, supported by the remarkable progress of the vaccination campaign, the very good agricultural season, the budget stimulus, as well as the accommodative stance of monetary policy," said the statement accompanying the report issued by Bank Al-Maghrib, the central bank of the Alawi kingdom. Indeed, the latest USDA report shows that Morocco has broken its record wheat production this 2021, making it possible to reduce imports of soft and durum wheat, requiring almost a tonne less than in 2020, when it imported just over five million tonnes.
The global cereal harvest would exceed ten million tonnes, which has led to an increase of almost 19% in agricultural value added. The Moroccan central bank's growth projection suggests that GDP could rise by 6.2 % this year, almost one point higher than last quarter's estimates. However, although it is also growing, the non-agricultural economy is lagging considerably behind, failing to reach 5% growth compared to last year's data, although its aggregate value has shot up by more than 14% compared to 2020.
"In 2022, growth should consolidate at 3 %, covering a 3.3 % fall in agricultural value added, assuming a return to average cereal production, and a 3.6 % increase in those non-agricultural activities," says Bank Al-Maghrib. The main driver of agricultural growth has been the turnaround from the drought that depleted crops last year. This drought, together with the slump in tourism, led to a loss of more than 430,000 jobs and a 7 per cent recession, which it is now trying to combat by improving the health situation.
Morocco hopes to continue on the upward trajectory that has led it to improve its forecasts for the end of the year. To this end, they know that they cannot rely entirely on the agricultural sector, as they know that "this performance (of crops) is mainly due to abundant rains during the cereal growing season", as the USDA pointed out. They have already launched various initiatives to accompany agricultural growth with that of other sectors. One such move is the one presented at the Dubai Expo 2020 called "Marocco Now", with the intention of promoting investment in Morocco and its commercial representation.