On 2 May in Rabat, the Center for International Cooperation on Agronomic Research for Development (CIRAD) launched the Massire Project, which aims to encourage sustainable water solutions for farming in Morocco.
Rabat – The MAD 19.5 million ($2 million) project coordinated by French research institute CIRAD will run for four years and is funded by the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
It’s purpose is to identify and reinforce small-scale innovative projects in the water management sector in rural Morocco, focusing in particular on successful small-scale farming irrigation practices. These may include drip irrigation, new solar water pump technology, and recycling waste water, as well as innovative water governance measures.
The project also aims to identify any other agricultural practices with the potential to reinforce Morocco’s resilience towards water shortages, stated CIRAD in a press release.
Once these innovative projects have been identified, CIRAD aims to develop and reinforce them.
The Massire project will pair small scale farmers with key players in sustainable development such as irrigation companies, agricultural cooperatives, NGOs, researchers and local Moroccan start-ups, to give them access to the technologies and services needed to develop sustainable farming.
Water management is a key issue for Morocco as the country regularly faces droughts.
In 2016, a particularly severe drought seriously impacted agricultural production and the country’s GDP dropped by 3.3%.
According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 83% of agricultural land in Morocco is not irrigated. Crop yields therefore suffer significantly from variations in rainfall and droughts.
This vulnerability will only increase, as the FAO predicts a 30% drop in rainfall by 2050, making water management an urgent issue for Morocco.