The heavy rainfall Morocco witnessed recently has had a positive impact on the country’s agriculture sector.
Aziz Akhannouch, Morocco’s Minister of Agriculture, said this week that the country’s 2020-2021 agricultural season is showing signs of a bountiful harvest year.
As of January 22, Moroccan farmers cultivated 5.35 million hectares (Ha) of fall crops, a noticeable increase from last year’s figures.
The cultivated area, which includes 9% irrigated farmlands, marks an increase of 9% compared to last season, the minister noted.
Akhanouch told MPs in Rabat that mechanical farmland covered 94% of the cultivated area. A total of more than 1,193 million quintals of approved seeds were sold.
He said that the cultivated area reached about 4.88 million Ha, including 9% irrigated, which are devoted in particular to autumn cereals (4.2 million hectares).
The minister added that 51,800 Ha were sown during the period of January 15 to 21, 2021, mostly consisting of cereals (89%).
As part of the autumn cereal multiplication program, an area of 51,082 Ha was cultivated. In an area estimated at 173,560 Ha, the main cultivated species were beans (56%), lentils (21%), and peas (20%). Autumn vegetables, meanwhile, occupy an area of 100,900 Ha.
For sugar crops, sugar beets are programmed for an area estimated at 53,600 Ha, compared to 56 Ha recorded last season. 86% of that area was cultivated while 100% monogerm planting was carried out.
For sugarcane, an area of 12,423 Ha is sown, with 2,500 Ha that was programmed for this season, with some 1,737 Ha planted in autumn (1,209 Ha in El Gharb and 528 Ha at Loukkos).
Akhannouch also announced that the country’s exports of vegetables and fruits totaled 474,000 tonnes this month, showing an increase of 9% compared to the same season last year.
The minister said that the reserves of dams for agricultural use have accumulated compared to last year, from 6.22 billion m3 last year to about 5.81 billion m3 this January.
The recent rainfall Morocco has witnessed also had a positive impact on the agriculture sector, improving farming conditions, the quality of the product and vegetation in pastoral areas, and the increased demand for seeds.
Morocco’s agricultural production suffered from drought and lack of rainfall in the 2019-2020 season, while the dams suffered from a chronic water deficit that impacted the country’s supply of drinking water and irrigation.
This year, however, the large quantity of rain witnessed in recent weeks has considerably improved the prospects of Morocco’s agricultural sector, leading both farmers and authorities to expect a distinctly bountiful harvest season.