A recent hailstorm has damaged approximately 19,000 hectares of agricultural fields.
Rabat – Morocco’s Minister of Agriculture Aziz Akhannouch has visited the agricultural fields in the Fez-Meknes region that sustained damage due to a hailstorm.
Akhannouch visited the region on Thursday, June 11, five days after a violent hailstorm damaged 19,000 hectares of agricultural fields.
“This visit … aims to examine the situation and identify the potential impacts on different crops,” Akhannouch told the press.
The hailstorm affected 31 different municipalities in the Fez-Meknes region, he said.
Experts have estimated the damage to vary between 5% and 80% depending on the crops, he added.
The field examination would allow the Ministry of Agriculture, in consultation with experts and farmers, to determine the necessary measures to protect Moroccan agriculture from weather-related incidents.
As soon as all the data is gathered, the ministry will put in place the appropriate measures to deal with similar phenomena in a sustainable way, Akhannouch assured.
The region of Fez-Meknes currently has 6,260 hectares of agricultural fields equipped with anti-hail netting and 68 anti-hail generators. The Ministry of Agriculture’s Agricultural Development Fund subsidized the protective equipment with a MAD 310 million budget ($32 million), Akhannouch said.
The hailstorm incident dates back to Saturday, June 6. On June 7, the ministry issued a statement saying the hailstorm affected most provinces in the Fez-Meknes region, with the exception of the Taounate province.
“The intensity of the storm in certain areas has caused damage to several crops and certain agriculture infrastructures,” the statement said.
An initial damage assessment concluded that fruit trees, olive trees, vegetables, and cereal crops sustained the most damage from the storm.
The damage was minimal in the fields equipped with anti-hail nets and generators, the statement concluded.
The Ministry of Agriculture invited farmers in the region to make individual declarations on the damages to their crops and submit them at the Moroccan Mutual Agriculture Insurance (MAMDA).