Agriculture is one of the pillars, if not the mainstay, of the Moroccan economy. The kingdom has much to be proud of, and its among the top 3 countries on the African continent with the highest score in terms of agricultural regulation and reforms. However, unfavorable weather conditions are expected to reduce citrus crops, particularly oranges in Brazil, Egypt, the EU, and Morocco.
In Morocco, orange production is expected to fall by 31% to 815,000 tonnes due to water shortages and adverse weather conditions. Consumption, exports, and fruit destined for processing will therefore decrease.
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The agricultural sector in Morocco
The agricultural sector has not been on the rise as a result of the 2018-2019 campaign. This situation was primarily caused by the low rainfall in the kingdom. That said, although cereal production was revised during the said period, the agricultural sector managed to maintain its course via other productions.
It seems that Morocco has learned from the “failures” of the 2018-2019 campaign, and has mobilized a whole arsenal of measures for the 2019-2020 campaign. The Ministry of Agriculture, Maritime Fishing, Rural Development, and Water and Forests has set up a plan, in continuity with the Green Morocco Plan. The objective behind the plan is to guarantee the correct distribution of water resources, but also to support local actors in the development of their activities, by providing them with better access to financing, as well as to the technical means they need.
Thanks to these measures, the kingdom has managed to climb up to 3rd position in the Enabling Business Agriculture (EBA) ranking of the World Bank (WB) for the year 2019, which focuses on the countries with the best agricultural reforms in the world.
Morocco scored 64.02 points, and is positioned at the front of the stage along with South Africa (68.73 points) and Kenya (68.73 points). It should be noted that African countries score between 16 and 63 points on average. We can find Liberia in last place with 16.42 points, and Zambia in 4th position with 63.73 points.
Morocco, a leader in water resources management
The World Bank (WB) states that the country owes its position to the measures it has taken in terms of water resource management, pest control, the provision of seed sector players, and the necessary equipment. In addition to this, setting up storage structures adequate for national production to boost its production for the European, Asian, and American markets also played a part in pushing the kingdom into 3rd place.
Thus, with regard to irrigation, Morocco has proceeded to mobilize an area of 487,000 hectares for irrigation for the 2019-2020 campaign on the kingdom’s large perimeters, 23% of which are dedicated to cereal crops.
Since the kingdom intends to continue the implementation of the National Irrigation Water Saving Program (PNEEI), whose objective is to ensure the irrigation of a surface area of 50,000 hectares by using the drip irrigation technique. In addition, Morocco will modernize its irrigation network over an area of 120,000 hectares in order to maximize the use of available resources at this level.
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First published in HESPRESS, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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