The Moroccan oilseed sector has experienced a substantial decline since the 1990s. The decline began with the cessation of high guaranteed minimum prices in 1996, and it continued during the government’s internal market reforms and trade liberalization programmes of the 2000s. The most influential factor in the liberalization of the oilseed complex was the bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) with the United States in 2006. Although guaranteed producer prices were re-introduced in 2003, this were at a much lower level than those prices of the early 1990s. At the same time as trade protection was lowered for most of the oilseed complex, comprehensive interventions were put in place for the politically sensitive wheat/bread value chain. Meanwhile, the production area of common wheat has more than doubled since the mid-1980s. Even at its late 1980s peak, however, the oilseed area only represented about 4 percent of the total acreage of cereals. Today, oilseed area is only 1 percent of the total, with the majority of this area dedicated to sunflower seeds as a foodstuff rather than for crushing for oil.
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