Akhannouch highlighted during the parliamentary session the "great performance" that national agriculture achieved despite the COVID-19 crisis and drought.
Rabat – Moroccan Minister of Agriculture Aziz Akhannouch announced the country’s exports of fruits and vegetables grossed a total of MAD 17.5 billion ($1.7 billion) in the period between september 2019 and May 2020.
The minister’s declaration took place during an oral question session at the House of Representatives on June 1.
Akhannouch highlighted during the session the “great performances” that national agriculture achieved despite the COVID-19 crisis and low levels of precipitation.
The official said that the Moroccan agriculture industry successfully supplied national and international markets with quality products.
The minister attributed the agricultural performance to the “diversification policy” of agricultural products, including cereals. “The production of irrigated and meat varieties performed very well,” said Akhannouch.
The official elaborated that exports increased by 9%, with a total production of 1.17 million tons, including 525,000 tons of tomatoes.
In contrast, citrus production has decreased by 27%, with a total output of 482,000 tons.
Other exports also included green beans with 120,000 tons (an increase of 9%), zucchini with 45,000 tons (+8%), watermelons with 161,000 tons (+74%), red fruits with 87,000 tons (+50%), melons with 42,000 tons (+4%), and avocados with 32,800 tons (+193%).
Akhannouch emphasized the role of the ministry and its initiatives in supporting farmers hit by drought across the country.
The minister said that the repercussions of the drought on the agriculture sector this year will remain until September. He pledged to launch a support program for shepherds, with the objective of distributing 2.850 million quintals of forage across the country. In addition to the in-kind agricultural support, the program will also supply water for livestock.
The minister said that with the Moroccan Agricultural Insurance Mutual Company (MAMDA) and Credit Agricole, the ministry mobilized a total of MAD 350 million ($35.89 million) to assist farmers affected by drought this year.
“We are following the general situation [of the impact of drought] … we will remain by the side of agricultors, and support them to face the upcoming challenges.”
On March 26, the ministry announced its decision to compensate farmers who are victims of drought, during the winter season, by deploying MAD 1.1 billion ($111.4 million), based on the assessment of the damaged areas.