Morocco’s agriculture has suffered from drought for three consecutive years, but the supply of agricultural products to Moroccan markets remains stable.
Rabat – Moroccan agriculture has developed resilience and a capacity to adapt since the launch of the Green Morocco Plan in 2008, Minister of Agriculture Aziz Akhannouch announced on Tuesday, May 26, at the House of Councillors.
Akhannouch discussed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Morocco’s agriculture and the results of the 2019-2020 agricultural season, assuring that Moroccan agriculture is resilient to challenges.
Despite the country’s epidemiological situation and the nationwide lockdown, the supply of agricultural products to Moroccan markets remains consistent and the prices remain reasonable and stable, Akhannouch said.
The minister acknowledged that COVID-19 represented a serious test for national agriculture, since the sector faced the health crisis and its socio-economic consequences as well as a crisis linked to climate change that resulted in water scarcity and irregular rainfall for three consecutive years.
The challenges did not stop the agricultural sector from regularly supplying Moroccan markets, Akhannouch continued, thanking “the sacrifices and the professionalism of the people working in this field.”
The 2019-2020 agricultural season faced unfavorable climatic conditions, characterized by irregular rainfall, the minister said. The first four months of the season, between September and December, recorded normal rainfall. However, rainfall stopped at the start of 2020 and high temperatures heavily impacted crops.
As of March, Morocco’s agricultural season recorded a 14% decrease in rainfall compared to the same period in the 2018-2019 season, which also did not witness optimal rainfall.
The water reserve for agricultural use in dams is characterized by several territorial disparities, Akhannouch revealed. In the Souss-Massa region, in central Morocco, and the N’Fiss River perimeter, near Marrakech, irrigation operations have completely stopped, pending the improvement of water reserves in dams.
The Doukkala and Al Haouz regions, in central Morocco, are also suffering an “acute water deficit.” Meanwhile, in the regions of Tadla (central Morocco), Moulouya (northeast), Ouarzazate (south-centre), and Tafilalet (southeast) average water levels remain stable but low.
Only the Gharb (western Morocco) and Loukkos (north) plains have satisfactory water situations.