UNIDO organized a closing event in Rabat for pilot projects aimed at fostering sustainability and economic growth within Morocco’s fish processing sector, funded by the European Union under the SwitchMed programme. This program demonstrated the collaborative efforts towards sustainable development and economic prosperity in Morocco's fish processing industry.

Roberta DE PALMA, Chief Technical Advisor for the UNIDO/SwitchMed project, remarked, "The pilot projects have demonstrated significant potential, both economically and environmentally. These initiatives offer prospects not only for conventional markets but also for those with higher added value, such as nutraceuticals, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, where marine ingredients are in demand."

According to a value chain mapping study commissioned by the SwitchMed programme, the sector presents significant potential for valorizing fish by-products and diversifying product portfolios.

The pilot projects have shown that investments in various value-added products, stemming from the valorization of fish by-products are technically feasible and economically viable, with payback periods ranging from a few months to a few years. These products include hydrolysates, which are highly prized for their properties in aquaculture feed formulations, as well as collagen, minerals, and marine peptides intended for high-end nutraceutical, cosmetic, or pharmaceutical markets.

These innovations could substantially enhance the profitability and environmental performance of Morocco’s fish processing value chain, supporting the development of a diversified Blue Economy in the country.

"The Blue Economy is at the heart of a new economic and industrial revolution around the sea, which is now taking shape. The stakes in terms of health, food and the fight against global warming are immense for both Morocco and the EU. It is therefore vital to cooperate," pointed out Daniele DOTTO, Deputy Head of Delegation, European Union Delegation to the Kingdom of Morocco.

The closing event also featured the presentation of a results-based roadmap, aimed at guiding institutional decision-makers and the private sector towards the strategic development of a Blue Economy in Morocco’s fish processing sector.

Hanan HANZAZ, Head of the Regional Office for the Arab Region, O-i-C UNIDO Representative in Morocco, highlighted the roadmaps significance, stating, "This roadmap aims to encourage and guide discussions among stakeholders on the key stages, objectives and timetables associated with the development and implementation of a strategic plan to promote a more resilient, competitive economy that can meet the challenges of sustainable development in this sector, which makes a significant contribution to the international standing of the Moroccan economy."

The event drew participation from representatives of the Moroccan government, including the Ministry of Agriculture, Maritime Fisheries, Rural Development and Water and Forests, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of Energy Transition and Sustainable Development, as well as key stakeholders from the Federation of Industries for the Processing and Valorisation of Fishery Products (FENIP), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), UNIDO and the European Union Delegation to Morocco.

NO Comment 27th March 2024

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