Morocco is experiencing irregular rainfall in the 2019 agricultural season, affecting crop production.
The report issued on May 21 predicts an unfavorable harvesting season in the second half of May due to the irregular rainfall in Morocco this year.
The report said that the season began with a good start when the above average precipitation across the principal arable production areas between September and December provided abundant moisture for early planting in October.
Irregular rainfall, however, affected wheat growth and “decreased yield potential” between January and March.
Morocco has witnessed a week of continuous rainfall across the country, but it was too late for “production recovery.”
The report said that the overall area of planted winter cereals reached 4.7 million hectares in 2018.
“Given the low rainfall amounts and the general expectations of low yields, farmers refrained from the mid-season application of plant protection materials and fertilizers,” the report said.
In April, Morocco’s Agriculture Ministry acknowledged that “the agricultural production season will be average only for the three types of cereals.”
The ministry announced that Morocco recorded 284 millimeters of rainfall as of April, a 12% decrease from a normal year, and dams are at 59% capacity.
The report announced that Morocco is expecting a lower cereal production in 2019.
“The Government’s preliminary forecasts from late April 2019 point to a cereal production of about 6.4 million tonnes, more than one-third lower than the previous year’s exceptional harvest of 10.5 million tonnes and about 25 percent below average.”
The document also emphasized that the wheat imports in Morocco will increase in the 2019/2020 season due to the limited domestic production. FAO indicated that Morocco is heavily relying on wheat imports in order to meet “its consumption needs.”
“Cereal import requirements in the 2019/20 marketing year (July/June) are forecast at 8.2 million tonnes, almost 30 percent more than in 2018/19 and about 15 percent above average.”
The report forecast an increase of wheat imports, stating that it is expected to increase from 3.3 million tons in 2018/2019 to about 4.7 million tons this season.
“The European Union and Black Sea countries supply most of the common “soft” wheat, while Canada is the traditional supplier of “durum” wheat.”