Structural adjustment and Moroccan agriculture: an assessment of the reforms in the sugar and cereal sectors

Structural adjustment and Moroccan agriculture: an assessment of the reforms in the sugar and cereal sectors

This paper reviews the process of agricultural policy reforms in Morocco in the 1980's, with particular emphasis on the cereals and sugar sub-sectors. Agricultural policy is reviewed in historical perspective, to show that the liberalisation process which was proposed in the framework of structural adjustment reforms ran contrary to the agricultural development strategy followed by Morocco since Independence. The macro-economic performance of Morocco is examined. It shows that the origin of the economic policy reforms can be found in the necessity to seek balance of payment ssupport. This led from a series of orthodox stabilisation measures to a process of liberalisation and structural adjustment which has affected a certain number of sectors including agriculture. The history of proposals for agricultural reforms is outlined and the extent of actual implementation is discussed. The adequacy of policy instruments and the impact of reforms are reviewed in a more detailed form for the cereals and sugar sub-sectors. The effects of the reform process on poverty are discussed, and the content of compensatory programmes is considered. Conclusions cover: the political economy of reforms; efficiency and distribution and poverty effects; World Bank's contribution to reforms; various technical issues concerning the appropriateness of policy instruments.

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