USTDA Assistance Helps Morocco Improve Food Safety

Morocco’s agricultural sector accounts for almost 15 percent of its gross domestic product and employs nearly half of the country’s workforce. To increase production and reduce losses due to spoilage, USTDA partnered with Morocco’s agriculture leaders on a series of assistance activities that strengthened the agriculture sector through the deployment of more efficient cold chain systems that has enhanced the value of local agricultural products.

USTDA’s assistance to Morocco’s Ministry of Agriculture and Maritime Fishing identified cold storage infrastructure to help reduce date palm production losses, leading to investment in an eight-site network of treatment and refrigeration equipment units. The units have specifically decreased palm date spoilage, created new job opportunities and produced effective staff training in processing and handling procedures.

USTDA’s assistance for Morocco’s National Board of Fisheries also helped improve the country’s cold chain storage system for fish production, facilitating the transportation of fresh products to inland consumers. Following the implementation of USTDA’s assistance, Moroccan stakeholders invested in nine cold warehouses and 17 ice facilities in 18 different villages, thereby improving food quality and reducing incidences of foodborne illnesses.

USTDA Acting Director Thomas R. Hardy describes the Agency’s technical assistance and international impact this way: “Our work in Morocco helped develop the framework for a new and highly efficient cold chain infrastructure. This success demonstrates that we are on the right track as we continue to explore global opportunities for collaboration and showcase the best of U.S. private sector solutions.”