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Aït Benhaddou, au Maroc
Due to climate change, the agricultural sector in Morocco is increasingly facing rising temperatures and dwindling water resources. As part of a long-standing collaboration with AFD, the GEMMES Morocco project reflects on how to develop sustainable development trajectories that take into account interactions between climate and agriculture from a macroeconomic perspective.

Interactions between socio-economic and ecological spheres make the elaboration of strong sustainability development trajectories a particularly difficult exercise. Morocco expressed its willingness to embark on a development plan based on prosperity, inclusion and sustainability in a report published in May 2021, but the country is facing one of the highest water stress conditions in the world. A technical cooperation request concerning the modelling of the impact of climate change on agriculture by 2050 was therefore sent to AFD, which the GEMMES Morocco model is attempting to satisfy.

This project is part of the modelling research that integrates the impact of climate change into macroeconomic forecasts in order to inform public policy choices in this area. AFD is developing a general theoretical macroeconomic model on the one hand, and on the other hand national models applied to concrete cases and adapted to the characteristics of each country, including the GEMMES Morocco model. 

This partnership is carried out in the context of the memorandum of strategic dialogue between AFD and the Directorate of Studies and Financial Forecasts (DEPF) of the Ministry of Economy and Finance of the Kingdom of Morocco. The research program is financed by the 2050 Facility, which aims to contribute to capacity building and the development of long-term strategies in line with the commitments of the Paris Agreement. In addition to the partnership with the DEPF, the project is developed with the Mediterranean Institute of Marine and Terrestrial Biodiversity and Ecology for the hydro-agricultural part.


The GEMMES Morocco project carries out simulations of agricultural production and available surface water resources for the year 2050 according to different climate scenarios, and analyses the impacts on the country's economy. This approach is rooted in the will to inform public decision-making, through the collaboration between Moroccan, French and international experts. The GEMMES Morocco model is intended to be an additional simulation tool for the Directorate of Financial Studies and Forecasting.


The specificity of this project lies in the coupling of two models: the macroeconomic model GEMMES, adapted to the specificities of Morocco, and the hydro-agricultural model Lund-PotsdamJena managed Land (LPJmL). The latter, widely used in the international scientific community, produces simulations of the country’s most important surface hydrology and crop yields. It uses projections of temperature and precipitation from the ALADIN regional climate model and compares the water requirements for Moroccan agriculture to the resources that will actually be available. The GEMMES Morocco model then uses these agricultural yield projections to integrate them into its macroeconomic framework.


Preliminary results were presented at COP26 in Glasgow in 2021, along with a summary for policy makers. The initial findings highlight the adverse effects of climate change, particularly on the water resources available for irrigation. In 2050, an irrigation level corresponding to 75% of the needs would lead to an agricultural production 3.7% higher than if only 50% of the irrigation needs were covered. GDP and household consumption would then be 0.5% higher. Thus, investing in water infrastructure seems essential to limit the impacts of climate change. 


The GEMMES Morocco project reveals the usefulness of coupling two types of models responding to different areas of expertise. By encouraging dialogue between researchers from different disciplines, the different perceptions of each can be explained and thus lead to a greater relevance of the political debate.

The contributions of this project can also continue beyond the framework of AFD, either because of the integration of some of its results into a World Bank exercise or because of its use in the Moroccan long-term strategy.