Evaluation of the Fruit Tree Productivity Project in Morocco: Final Report on Irrigation Activities
Millennium Challenge Corporation
- The irrigation improvements were generally of high quality and are mostly still in good condition.
- The improved infrastructure led to substantial reduction in the resources required for maintenance, made it quicker and easier for farmers to irrigate, and increased the volume of water reaching farmers’ parcels.
- Yields, revenues, and profits declined in olive-producing areas, but significantly worse climate conditions at endline make attribution of the project’s impacts difficult.
As part of a $697.5 million compact between the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and the Government of Morocco that was signed in 2007, MCC funded a $340.5 million project to support the country’s agricultural sector—the Fruit Tree Productivity Project (FTPP). The FTPP comprised several activities that sought to expand the production of selected tree fruit crops—olives, dates, figs, and almonds—and address constraints along these value chains. The Agence de Partenariat pour le Progrès, a public Moroccan entity, implemented the Compact between 2008 and 2013. MCC contracted with Mathematica to evaluate several components of the FTPP.
This report presents the findings from the final evaluation of two of the FTPP activities: the Olive Tree Irrigation and Intensification activity and the Date Tree Irrigation and Intensification activity. These activities upgraded irrigation infrastructure, supported water user associations, and provided training and technical assistance to value chain actors involved with these two crops. They were designed to increase the efficiency of water use and other crop practices, ultimately seeking to enhance the yield and profitability of olive and date production in targeted irrigated areas. The mixed-methods performance evaluation included two complementary studies: (1) a qualitative study in irrigated olive and date areas; and (2) a quantitative pre-post study in irrigated olive areas. The qualitative study drew on interviews and focus groups conducted with key stakeholders in 2018, about five years after the end of the project. The pre-post study was designed to complement the qualitative study by providing quantitative estimates of the changes in farmer-level outcomes. It drew on data collected from farmers in 2010 (before the improvements to the irrigation infrastructure were finished) and in 2017 and 2018 (between four and six seasons after the improvements were finished, depending on the area).