The winter season’s drought continues to adversely impact Moroccan farmers, whose livelihoods depend on sufficient rainfall.
Rabat – The Moroccan Minister of Agriculture Aziz Akhannouch said Tuesday that his department allocated MAD 350 million ($35.89 million) to assist farmers affected by the lack of rainfall during the agricultural season.
During a session of the House of Representatives on June 1, Akhannouch said the Ministry of Agriculture launched the initiative to assist Moroccan farmers on an “exceptional basis” after having assessed the effects of drought since March 14.
The Mutual Moroccan Agricultural Insurance Company (MAMDA) helped the ministry assess the drought-affected areas.
“The payment of these funds started in mid-April instead of July in order to mitigate the impact of the rainfall deficit on farmers,” Akhannouch said.
The minister emphasized that Morocco’s Credit Agricole bank accompanied small farmers in these circumstances with financing estimated at MAD 1.5 billion ($153.8 million). The program to support Moroccan farmers includes a barley acquisition program, a spring crops program, and a fruit tree planting program.
Earlier this year, on March 26, the Ministry of Agriculture announced its decision to compensate farmers in the areas that experienced unfavorable climate conditions due to lack of rainfall during the winter season.
The ministry and MAMDA launched joint expertise projects at the beginning of March to detect the areas most affected by lack of rainfall.
The government acknowledged recently that the recent rainfalls in March and mid-April helped the agricultural season and increased dam fill rates up to 49.7%. In May, several thunderstorms hit Morocco with moderate to heavy showers that were also beneficial for dams.
Despite the delayed rainfall, Moroccan farmers still suffered the effects of drought, particularly in the southern regions. MAMDA said in May it allocated MAD 200 million ($20.51 million) in favor of farmers affected by drought in Marrakech-Safi’s Rehmana region.