Rabat – Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Development, Water and Forests, Aziz Akhannouch, announced record expectations for Morocco's cereal output and a noticeable increase in quality and production in the animal industry. Both announcements were delivered during opening ceremonies for the 9th Agricultural Conference, Monday in Meknes.
Rabat – Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Development, Water and Forests, Aziz Akhannouch, announced record expectations for Morocco’s cereal output and a noticeable increase in quality and production in the animal industry. Both announcements were delivered during opening ceremonies for the 9th Agricultural Conference, Monday in Meknes.
Cereal output is expected to hit a record 11.2 million tons this year, up 203 pc from the previous season. At the same time, Morocco’s Green Plan has created more than 300,000 farms as well as a marked increase in sheep and cattle herd head counts.
“This year’s cereal output is expected to hit record levels between the three main cereals: 5.4 million tons for common wheat, 3 million tons for barley and 2.5 million tons for durum wheat.” Akhannouch made the statement during the opening ceremony of the conference, held under the theme “Agriculture and Food Security Through water.”
“The current season was marked by good rainfall, well distributed in space and time, with a moderate temperature, which has allowed for the supply and use of inputs,” the minister pointed out.
Sales of certified seed, therefore, increased dramatically by 52 percent over the previous year, while the area sown with autumn cereals exceeded 52 percent, Akhannouch noted.
He added that remarkable growth was recorded in the production of all agricultural sectors, namely citrus fruits, with a harvest of 2.4 million tonnes (up 20 percent) and dates (117,000 tonnes).
Akhannouch also provided an update on Morocco’s Green Plan, which has created more than 300,000 farms, noting that a “… significant progress has been made in Moroccan agriculture’s mechanisation by raising the ratio of tractors per 1,000 hectares, which has reached 8.03 compared to 4.9 before the Green Plan.”
A critical part of the Green Plan’s objectives concern improving the quality and productivity of the animal industry. To that end, Akhannouch announced an increase in the head count for sheep flocks of 4 million (+18 percent) totaling 26.1 million head. Beef cattle increased by 1 million (+43 percent), for a total of 3.3 million head.
“Thanks to the first statistics of the general agricultural census, we have noted the transformation of 700,000 hectares from agricultural systems to high value added farms (fruit trees) and the exploitation of 20% of non-exploited dry lands,” the minister added.
The 9th Agricultural Conference kicked off on Monday with the participation of Alpha Condé, Chairman of the African Union (AU) and President of the Republic of Guinea, the distinguished guest for this year’s edition.