Elements for management control in Moroccan citrus production
The study concerns the large structured and decentralized citrus fruit companies. It provides the agronomic and financial tools for management control. The present management model is based on a bottom-up design. It is inspired from the new citrus cropping experience born from the Green Morocco plan. The model assumes transparency, farm and management control partnership, reliable information system and fluidity of information. In agriculture, there is no perfect analogy with the industry sector concerning the assessment of performance gaps compared to the management objectives reported by the budget. In industry, the same inputs combined to the same process generally produce the same result. Thus, the analysis of the observed performance gaps become easier and corrective measures can be suggested. In agriculture, the result can’t be similar even the same amount of inputs (water, fertilizer, pesticides), and the same production process (rootstock, cultivar, density, pruning) have been used. This situation is related to climatic year, location and soil type. Therefore, the most important in agricultural activity, is to explain the causes of the performance gap. Then, to classify these causes into manageable factors and not manageable factors of the environment. A low performance on productivity or quality can be related to the negative effect of “Chergui” wind (fall, physical damage, sunburn, ...) even we keep the same usual production process. Also, an excellent performance is sometimes related to a very good climate year and not to a specific management effort. The enormous difficulty of predicting confidently the orchard behavior, for each year, constrains the establishment of fixed "standards" useful for management control. Thus, in the present study, we try to explore causes of deviations around average numbers. In Morocco, a liberal economy is established. However, the overproduction with the idea of selling the citrus fruit as dime a dozen or leaving the Adam Smith invisible hand regulates the market has never been the goal of the Green Morocco Plan. Such plan aims to produce and to export more in order to improve the country's trade balance. Today, we are in a situation of excessive clementine supply aggravated by the difficulty to increase export quantity. This situation pushes each producer to perform well. Regarding the difficulty to regulate prices, the basic mission of the management control is to master at least the production costs. The true solution would to introduce an innovative super-control management of citrus sector. This management would include a provisional plantation freezing waiting for finding new markets. In fact, the feared problem is occurred in 2018. Indeed, high quality clementine has been sold at 10 cts kg-1. on the local market after many investments of the producer. The study aims to give suggestions to producers on how to manage this troubled period and overcome the crisis with minimal damage.
Key words: Management control, citrus fruits, Morocco