MOROCCO – Morrocco is set to record a decline in major cereals production during the 2018-2019 production season with forecast projecting a 6.1 million tonnes harvest representing a 19% decline from the average production of 7.5 million tonnes.
This is according to a projection from the country’s ministry of Agriculture which based the production of wheat, barley, and durum to decline on account of 23% decline in rainfall compared to the previous season.
According to Aziz Akhannouch, the Ministry of Agriculture, the “agricultural production season will be average only for the three types of cereals.”
The ministry acknowledged that this year’s irregular rainfall will result to lower harvests of the cereals which are currently under 4.7 million hectares, the Morocco World News reports.
Sixty-five percent of the cereal harvest will come from three regions: Fez-Meknes, Rabat-Sale-Kenitra, and Casablanca.
Additionally, Akhannouch noted that the country’s citrus production is projected to reach 2.6 million tons adding that “Production of olives should reach 1.9 million tons, bearing in mind that most of the olive areas are in good condition.”
The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries aims to produce 2.5 million tons of olives per year in 2020, under its “Green Morocco Plan.”
However, Morocco agricultural exports are also expected to increase by 9% with citrus exports already at 628,000 tons, representing a 6% increase from last year.
Agricultural projects to get US$55.79m funding
Morocco has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the French Development Agency for Agriculture (AFD) to set up a US$55.79 million credit line that will finance agricultural projects in the country.
Speaking during the event, Mihoub Mezouaghi, diractor AFD’s office in Morocco said the credit line will be used to finance agricultural and agri-food projects with a dimension of sustainable development
“This new line of credit will help the holders of agricultural projects to more sustainable and less expensive production solutions including the reduction of fossil fuel consumption and the consumption of water and phytosanitary products.”
Mezouaghi further noted that it was important for the sector to adopt alternative agricultural system with higher added value, like organic agriculture, which relies on ecological processes, biodiversity, and cycles in order to promote sustainability.