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Tadla-Azilal
   
 
   
Composed of two provinces (Beni Mellal and Azilal), the Tadla-Azilal region stretches over three different geographical formations: the fertile Tadla plain, the piedmont (Dir) which is full of forest resources and favourable to stock breeding, and wonderful mountain chains of the Medium and High Atlas ranges. The climate is Mediterranean with a rainy season lasting from November to March and a dry season from April to October. The average annual temperature is 18°C with peak periods of 38°C to 40°C in August and 3 to 4°C in January. The population is 1,450,519 inhabitants, 66% of them rural. Half of the population is under 25 years old.

  1. Economy
  2. Agriculture
  3. Industry
  4. Tourism
  5. Handicrafts
  6. Mines
   N.B. : USD 1 = MAD 7,258
       (evolution over 12 months - Bank Al-Maghrib)
 
 
  Azilal Regional Investment Centre
     
 1- Economy
  • Investments carried out in the region during 2007 have registered a record of MAD 2.25 billion, an increase of 513% compared to the previous year. Agriculture, agro-business, mines, services, handicraft and rural tourism are the main sectors of the economic activity in the Tadla-Azilal region.
  • Largely dependent on an agro-business economy characterized by a large-scale, constant and high-performance crop and animal production, the Tadla-Azilal region supplies emerging local and regional markets with food.
  • A second key economic sector in the region is tourism which receives worldwide interest. With its rich and diverse tourism potentials, the region is a source of attraction to national and foreign investors, especially in the field of rural tourism.
  • The service sector is also of paramount importance in the economy of the Tadla-Azilal region (25% of the active population and more than 1,100 service companies).
  • In the region, there is an expanding large-scale distribution network with more than 7,000 business institutions. Building and the craft industry constitute other promising sectors, which are expanding rapidly in the region. In addition, a banking network of more than 20 branches operates throughout the region.
  • With its geographical location covering the majority of the High Central Atlas, Tadla-Azilal region has diverse geological formations and is known for its reserves of metals and minerals (iron, lead, zinc, copper, rock salt and phosphate).
   
 2- Agriculture
  • Agriculture is the first socio-economic activity in the region, occupying 62% of the region’s labour force (some 300,000 individuals). This is owing to favourable climatic conditions, abundant underground and surface water resources as well as the availability of skilled labour.
  • The region has a useful agricultural area exceeding 570,000 ha, accounting for 7% of the total national useful agricultural area and some 13% of the irrigated lands in Morocco (representing more than 192,000 ha).
  • With a surface area of 530,000 ha, forested lands cover some 32% of the region’s surface. Still poorly developed, primary forestry activities in Tadla-Azilal focus on oak wood.
Agricultural Production Campaign 2003/2004 in Tonnes Campaign 2005/2006 is Tonnes Contribution to national production % Non-locally valorised Production
 Autumn Cereals 4 694 680 6 265 360 8 -
 Fodder 620 780 1 902 977 17 -
 Beet 2 104 840 333 859 28 -
 Leguminous plants 132 440 69 610 23 100%
 Olive 101 775 96 032 17 46%
 Citrus 55 200 244 246 19 90%
 Rosaceae 22 840 33 315 - 100%
 Vine 1 005 1 725 - 100%
 Pomegranate 24 029 29 058 51 100%
 Walnut 425 1 686 - 100%
 Fig 800 908 - 100%
 Milk (Million Litres) 215 197 20 50%
 Meat 7 637 7 915 15 100%
Source: Tadla-Azilal’s CRI

Substantial exploitable water resources :
The abundant water resources in the region make it a real water reservoir for the whole country. The Tadla-Azilal region is an area with a high water table (an exploitable potential of 350 million cubic metres). The region boasts 8 dams, 2 of which are among the most important in the whole country (Bin El Ouidane Dam and Ahmed El Hansali Dam).
   
 3- Industry
Up-and-coming, the food industry is a key component of the economy of the Tadla-Azilal region and a main contributor to investment prospects. The region’s processed agricultural production accounts for 75% of the annual national production. The food industry comprises more than 80 units, accounting for 42% of the local industrial network and offering job opportunities for about 1,029 people (representing 48% of the total food industry workforce). The sector is backed by applied research. The efforts made in research are directed towards the productive sectors, and there is a close collaboration between research, the public sector and the private one.

Industrial indicators : values in MAD million (2006)
 Province Number of units Staff Export Product Investment Added value
Nbr. % Nbr. % Val. % Val. % Val. % Val. %
 Azilal 29 15 239 10 1 673 10 60 10 13 * 12 9
 Beni mellal 171 86 2 062 90 15 90 548 90 293 100 125 91
 Total 200 100 2 302 100 16 100 608 100 293 100 137 100
(*) : % less than 0.01%
 
 Sectors Nbr. companies Turnover  Staff 
 Food industry 82 1 281 158 1 382
 Chemical and para-chemical industry 74 71 909 675
 Electric and electronic industry 1 2 054 11
 Metallic and mechanical industry 36 81 425 298
 Textile and leather industry 2 10 948 94
Source: Ministry of Industry, Commerce and New Technologies (2005)
   
 4- Tourism
  • A strategic geographical location : the Tadla-Azilal region is situated in the vicinity of Casablanca, a veritable hub of international and domestic tourism. Tadla-Azilal is at the center of the organized tourist tours of the outstanding cities of Marrakech and Fez, where a major portion of the country’s tourist bed-nights is registered (more than 30% as in the period between January and August 2006). Another significant factor is that the Tadla-Azilal region overlooks the southern provinces of Morocco where the most famous tourist spots are located (Ouarzazate, Skoura, Imilchil, etc.)
  • A strong natural appeal : Tadla-Azilal comprises more than 20 interesting, natural and unexploited tourist spots: lakes, waterfalls, vast forests as well as plains and gorgeous peaks, etc. The region is an ideal area for trekking and outdoor activities, with its long sunshine period (lasting from April to October).
  • A pioneer region in ecotourism : It is here in the center of Morocco that mountain tourism came into existence in 1973 with the Crossing of the Moroccan Atlas program. The centre for training in mountain professions currently offers training by the country’s best mountain guides in the field of mountain tourism.

Guest occupancy and tourist market :
The Tadla-Azilal region registers every year more than 70,000 bed-nights and records 60,000 check-ins in average. Bed nights and check-ins increase by an annual average rate of +18% and +15% respectively. 2006 was a record year, as the region registered 81,524 bed-nights and some 56,051 check-ins in the period from January to August. Tadla-Azilal is an attractive destination for domestic tourism, accounting for 42% of the bed-nights registered. As for international tourism, action should be taken to further promote it. The French market constitutes the bulk of tourists coming to the region, accounting for 61% of the overall international tourist bed-nights registered. Spain (6%), the Netherlands (5%), Germany (some 3%) are second in the list. Also significant is the growing share in 2006 of the American tourism market, accounting for 2%.

Tourism infrastructure :
The Tadla-Azilal region offers a wide range of accommodation services, including hotels, country lodges, inns, etc., but the region’s accommodation supply accounts for only 1.2% of the overall national capacity. Some tourist accommodation niches, especially four-star hotels, are found to be de?cient. It is in such hotel category that the highest annual tourist bed-night rates are recorded.
   
 5- Handicrafts
In 2005, the Tadla-Azilal region boasted some 2,851 craftsmen in the service and production sectors :
  • Weaving and textile activities are predominant (21%).
  • Home fashion and finished works, such as carpentry, and metalwork (14%)
  • Car repairs (6%)
  • 10% of the skilled tradesmen work in the area of weaving, pottery, and woodwork.
People working in the craft industry are for the most part either individual craftsmen or very small businesses with 2 to 3 employees.
   
 6- Mines
  • The Tadla-Azilal region contains two structural domains, namely that covering the plain and the phosphate plateaus, and the Central High Atlas range.
  • Several exploration programmes have led to the identification of important resources mainly lead and zinc, whose potential reserves would come to 124,800 tonnes, besides copper, iron and manganese .
   
     
 
 
     
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