Morocco’s Crop Year Bodes Well in 2017- Official
These positive prospects for Morocco’s agricultural sector were confirmed by Spokesperson for the Moroccan government, Mustapha El Khalfi, who was speaking to the press following the weekly cabinet meeting Thursday.
Quoting the Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Aziz Akhannoch, El Khalfi said that Morocco’s cereal production was planted on 5.1 million hectares of arable soil compared to 3.62 million hectares last crop year.
He added that Morocco’s cereal production includes 49.9 million quintals of soft wheat, 23.4 million quintals of durum, 28.9 million quintals of hordeum.
El Khalfi added that the government adopted effective measures to buy this output from farmers. Among these measures, he mentioned setting the reference price of 280 dirham per quintal for soft wheat.
Concerning livestock, El Khalfi highlighted the beneficial impact of the abundant rainfall in main pastoral areas as well as the subsidies given to farmers.
Last year late rainfall made the country double its wheat imports to meet demand, as Morocco’s wheat production remains vulnerable to unpredictable weather patterns.
Due to its significant contribution to the country’s GDP (around 15 percent in recent years), the agriculture sector largely determines the growth level of the whole economy. The large fluctuations in output are also reflected in fluctuation in agricultural imports of commodities such as animal feed, wheat, and oilseeds.