Morocco - Oum Er Rbia Irrigated Agriculture Modernization Project

The development objective of the Oum Er Rbia Irrigated Agriculture Modernization Project for Morocco is for participating farmers in the Oum Er Rbia basin to increase the productivity and to promote more sustainable use of irrigation water to overcome current and future water deficits. There are three components to the project. The first component of the project is improving the irrigation water service. This component aims at providing participating farmers with irrigation service necessary for high efficiency drip irrigation. This will be achieved through: (i) replacing irrigation canals with pressurized systems or adapting existing pressurized systems; and (ii) providing irrigation water on-demand, with a predetermined annual quota according to surface water availability. The component activities will include: detailed studies including topographic works and laboratory tests, technical assistance for works monitoring and control, adapting regulation of main adduction channels including changing hydro-mechanic systems, construction of distribution pipes, including installation of hydraulic equipment, construction or adaptation of pumping stations and various civil works. This component also includes the preparation and signature of water supply contracts between ORMVAs (office regional de mise en valeur Agricole - regional agricultural development office) and farmers. The second component of the project is supporting farmers and their partners. This component aims to improve targeted farmers' access to technology, financing, and agricultural markets. This will be achieved through: (i) provision of technical assistance to ORMVAs to support the farmers and agro processors to develop and enter into partnership agreements aiming at securing markets for high value crops; (ii) provision of technical assistance and equipment to ORMVAs to help for the implementation of the market information system; (iii) provision of technical assistance to the ORMVAs to help farmers to use the new irrigation equipment and to improve their agricultural practices; and (iv) provision of mobile laboratory equipment to ORMVAs to monitor performance of new irrigation systems. The third component of the project is assisting implementing agencies in project management and monitoring. This component aims at building capacities of the Borrower and project implementing agencies to enable them ensuring a good management and monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of project activities and results in compliance with procedures that will be agreed with the Bank. This component activities mainly include: (i) provision of training, technical assistance and computer equipment to MAPM (ministere de l'agriculture et de la peche maritime - ministry of agriculture and marine fisheries) for designing and implementing technical and management tools to be used by ORMVAs; (ii) provision of training and technical assistance to ORMVAs, for improving Project management tools, Project monitoring and evaluation and implementation of the Project in general, including the environmental management plans (EMPs) and land acquisition plans (LAPs); (iii) provision of technical assistance for reviewing on-farm irrigation projects to be submitted by farmers; (iv) provision of vehicles and computer equipment for project management and supervision; and (v) Rehabilitation of, and provision of equipment for field extension offices.

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