Agriculture, fish professionals protest fuel price hike
Morocco, Agriculture, 9/11/2000
The associations of citrus fruits, fruits and vegetables producers will stage marches on September 18 throughout all Moroccan cities to protest the difficult situation the sector is going through.
The decision was made by the association of fruits and vegetables producers and exporters (APEFEL), the association of citrus fruits producers (ASPAM) and the association of vegetables producers and exporters (ASPEM).
The associations said in a statement that they have decided, at a meeting held in Marrakesh Thursday, to set up a national coordinating body and to draw a plan of action to defend their claims.
The meeting looked into the difficult situation of the sector which is severely affected by indebtedness, the effects of drought and the latest hike in fuel prices.
Meanwhile, the federation of Morocco's chambers of agriculture denounced as "a fatal blow" to the agriculture sector the decision to increase fuel prices and called the government "to rapidly cancel this decision."
"We strongly denounce this decision that we deem a fatal blow to farmers and to agriculture as a whole, in view of the negative impact of the fuel price increase," a statement by the federation said calling the government to rapidly cancel the increase.
Farmers have been shocked by the increase at a moment they were expecting the government to address their problems and help them face up the effects of drought and heavy indebtedness, the statement said.
Petroleum products prices were increased by 4.8 to 10.8% as of September 2. The government explained the decision was made to cope with the rise in the price of crude oil on the world market.
Trade unions of fish professionals and associations of coastal fishing have also deplored the hike in fuel prices which they described as very sharp. With this new increase, the oil bill represents 15 to 30 % of their turnover, they said in a statement they released at the end of a meeting held last Thursday in the southern Atlantic city of Agadir.
Some small ship-owners have already been compelled to stop their activity, the fish professionals said in the statement sent to MAP this Monday.
They called the public powers to "back this sector which lays a key role in national economy, generates thousands of jobs and greatly contributes to the country's trade balance."
The decision was decried by many trade unions and professional associations, as the fuel price increase will adversely impact the purchasing power mainly of the labor classes and the rural world populations.
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