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Morocco: Agricultural Sector Suffers Due to a Lack of Rainfall

Agricultural Sector Suffers Due to a Lack of Rainfall

In comparison to the previous year, Moroccan dam reservoirs designated for agricultural use have a 2 billion m3 deficit in water reserves.

While assessing the current agricultural campaign at the House of Representatives, Morocco’s Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Rural Development, Water and Forestry Mohammed Sadiki noted that rainfall this year had been late, low, and “poorly structured in terms of time and territory.

According to Sadiki, March and April received 60% of the total precipitation. According to data from the ministry, rainfall in Morocco has barely reached 200 mm since the start of the agricultural season, a 43 percent decrease from the average of the previous 30 years.

Despite the reduced rainfall, rainfall has restored vegetation cover in some areas to “normal” levels. The minister noted that satellite photographs of vegetation cover show vegetation patterns “that are almost identical to the 2015-2016 harvest year.

Sadiki claimed that over 3.6 million hectares of cereal crops were sown this year, with Fez-Meknes, Rabat-Sale-Kenitra, and Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima accounting for 60% of total production. He also stated that key grain output (soft wheat, durum wheat, and barley) is likely to be 32 million quintals (Mq), down 69 percent from the previous record year.

Despite this, cereals grown in irrigated areas account for only about 20% of total production due to the small amount of irrigated land dedicated to cereals and irrigation constraints.

Rainfall in March and April, according to the Moroccan ministry, helped the spring crops develop in ideal conditions. Corn (115,000 hectares), chickpeas (75,000 hectares), sunflowers (30,000 hectares), and beans (30,000 hectares) make up the entire farmed area, him (8,700 hectares).

Sugar beet is grown on roughly 39,000 hectares, whereas sugar cane is grown on 10,000 hectares. Despite a decrease in cultivated land this year, preliminary estimates indicate that 380,000 tons of white sugar will be produced.

Despite their heavy reliance on weather conditions in May, June, and early July, Sadiki observed that flowering crops (citrus, olive, palm, and rosaceous) showed good output prospects.