The Morocco Green Plan (MGP) has delivered significant economic benefits to small farm households. A concentration on improving efficiency and profitability within value chains for key local commodities has, through the creation of women’s cooperatives, also led to positive outcomes in female empowerment. Through qualitative and participatory research methods, our analysis of gendered aspects of value chains for argan, rose, cactus, and saffron in southwestern Morocco suggests that economic empowerment, fostered through existing women’s cooperatives, is fragile and subject to significant threats. In large part, this is the result of a state-driven approach that has not effectively considered the inequities inherent within value chains for key local commodities; and the meshing of existing social and cultural norms with the tenets of a national drive toward ‘modernization’ of the agricultural sector. We suggest that the MGP is gender blind in this respect. Couching value chain enhancement initiatives within an innovation systems framework, as opposed to a state-centric process, is more likely to achieve well-being within rural communities, together with sustainable (social and economic) returns within pro-poor value chains.
Part of the book: Agricultural Value Chain