Dakhla: A Boost for Aquaculture

Out of the national program of 256 aquaculture projects, Dakhla benefits from 214 new production units, representing an investment of 811 million DH out of 1.6 billion. Young graduates are particularly targeted with the award of 100 projects.

With a coastline stretching over nearly 3,500 kilometers, it may seem paradoxical that Morocco has waited so long before thinking about enhancing marine aquaculture activity. The 1st forum of aquaculture companies, organised on November 13th in Dakhla by ANDA (National Agency for the Development of Aquaculture) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Maritime Fisheries, highlighted the potential offered by this sector in terms of development, business creation, and employment.

The Dakhla event is distinguished by the launch in the region of several aquaculture projects that will be installed in the very short term with the support of the State. This required a long period of upstream work as part of the national strategy for the development of marine aquaculture with its various components: Work to identify production sites, develop modern regulations based on international experience, and plan to ensure the sustainability of the sector.

In other words, the Dakhla region has inherited the lion’s share since out of 256 new projects initiated at national level with a production target of 156,000 tonnes per year, 214 projects (80% of the total) return to the Dakhla region with an expected production of 78,000 tonnes per year, once the cruising rate is reached, and the creation of 2,507 direct jobs.

The overall investment to boost the sector amounted to 1.5 billion DH, of which 811 million DH went to the Dakhla-Oued Eddahab region.

It should also be noted that of the 214 projects selected under the call for expressions of interest, 114 were allocated to investors and 100 projects were allocated to young people in the region to make this program a lever for local development. These 100 projects, supported by 507 young people in the region, will receive financial support and assistance from the public authorities.

According to Majida Maarouf, Director of ANDA, the financial support will require an envelope of 57 million DH granted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Maritime Fisheries, to which must be added 22 million DH which will be devoted to strengthening the infrastructure for landing products.

According to the Director of ANDA, priority was given to young unemployed graduates with the obligation to organize themselves into companies or cooperatives and follow a training program offered by the agency.

In addition, these selected promoters will benefit from the tax advantages granted by the State, including exemption from VAT on inputs (fry, spat, food), while food imports will benefit from a reduction in customs duties to 2.5% for 6 years instead of the 25% previously applied.

As for the direct financial assistance that will benefit young developers, it will focus on the acquisition of the equipment and its installation.

Finally, they will benefit from support and monitoring of their projects by ANDA, in collaboration with the Chamber of Maritime Fisheries, during the first production cycle of their company.

The start of these 214 projects will be spread over the period from 2019 to 2024 with the initiation of 90 Projects in 2019-2029, 81 Projects in 2021-2022 and finally 43 Projects in 2023-2024.

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