Good agricultural season in perspective
The lucky effects of the recent rainfall in Morocco
The recent rainfall has created favorable conditions for the current agricultural season; farmers should continue to maintain the main crops. Rainfall affected all regions of the Kingdom and will have a positive impact on improving the development of fruit trees and vegetation cover of rangelands, improving the filling rate of dams and the groundwater level, saving water for irrigation, the ministry said in a statement from last February. The reserves of dams for agricultural use amounted 7.32 billion m3 on 27 February 2017, compared to 7.88 billion m3 on the same date of the previous season. The reserve level of dams at the start of the previous season benefited from deductions of the previous rainy season.
Morocco has recently experienced large generalized precipitation, bringing the average national rainfall total to 287 mm on 27 February 2017, a 7% increase from normal (264 mm) and 136% from the previous season (122 mm) on the same date. The ministry of agriculture is calling on farmers to continue to maintain major crops through, inter alia, weeding, fertilizer application and phytosanitary treatments, and preparing for spring crops (sunflower, Chickpea, corn,). Regarding the supply of agricultural inputs, the Ministry indicated that it was insured in sufficient quantities and of good quality, recalling that the department has taken all necessary measures within the framework of the Green Morocco Plan to ensure the Availability of agricultural inputs and mobilization of farmers and all actors in the sector for the success of the agricultural campaign. Certified seeds of cereals have been mobilized to 2 million quintals, 75% of common wheat, 18% durum wheat and 7% barley. The overall sales of seeds totaled more than 1.66 million quintals compared to 1.09 million quintals a year earlier. For fertilizers, the market is currently well stocked, according to the ministry which notes that the program of the current campaign covers more than 500,000 tons.
Concerning agricultural insurance, the total contracted area amounts 1 million hectares, according to the statement that is the multi-risk climate insurance for cereals, food legumes and oilseeds. The risks covered include drought, hail, excess water, high winds, frost and sand winds.
Morocco fruits export decreased with 6%
Global exports of fruits reached 512,862 tons (t) on 23rd of February 2017, a decrease of 6% compared to the same date of the previous season, said the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, explaining this slowdown by the prolonged period of winter cold.
Citrus fruits exports reached 462,241 t, 15% up from the previous season, the ministry said in a statement, noting that citrus fruits are 92 percent of the fruits. Achievements in tomatoes account for nearly 63% of total exports of vegetable products, with a volume of nearly 319,373 t, 5% down from the previous season, according to the ministry. This decline in exports was due to unfavorable weather conditions and in particular the fall in temperatures during the months of December and January, which substantially reduced the supply of tomatoes in the markets. As for various vegetables, the results reached about 166,600 tons, a decrease of 6% compared to the same date of the previous season, they are mainly dominated by beans (38%), squash and zucchini (17%). Concerning potatoes, exports were 3,000 tons, an increase of 30% compared with the previous year's production of 2,310 tons.
Production of 16,000 tons of Fishing during 2016-2017 season
Freshwater fish production for the 2016-2017 fishing season is estimated at 16,000 tons worth of 160 million (MAD), 1,100 tons of which are produced by ten companies, intended to supply rural populations with high-quality animal protein and contributing to the creation of jobs (800,000 days of work for the benefit of 3,000 fishermen).
This season was marked by the repopulation of the sport fishing routes by 7.3 million predatory fish, which are spread over 1.4 million trout, 2.1 million brechetons and 3.8 million black bass fingerlings. Concerning dam reservoirs, they have benefited from a repopulation of 10.2 million carp fry, destined for the development of the commercial fishery. A total of 30 rivers, 13 natural lakes and water bodies and 26 dam reservoirs were repopulated by 17.5 million of fishes during the previous season. These restocking actions have resulted in improved yields in the commercial fishery, promotion of recreational fishing, and control of eutrophication in irrigation canals and dam reservoirs, and the progress of programs and projects arising from the high commission of fisheries and forests decennial 2015/2024 plan for the development of inland fisheries and fish farming.
This is the program for the promotion of fishery tourism value chain, which aims to structure packaged tourist offers around sustainable sport fishing for the benefit of local populations. In this context, fishing routes have been developed in Amghass (Azrou region), Aguemguem (Meknès) and Oued Guigou (Azrou). National and international events have been organized to raise awareness of the fishing and tourism potentials of fishing routes and a training program on sport fishing trades has been identified and will be set up to structure the fishing instructor trades and organizer of tourist fishing.
The expected results of the implementation of the strategic plan are to increase fish production to 5,000 tons by 2024 to supply local populations and create more than 15,000 additional jobs related to Fisheries and aquaculture in rural and mountain areas.