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Drought in Morocco Worries Farmers in Casablanca-Settat Region

Source : | 9 March 2020 |  Economy | 212 views

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Rabat – Seasonal precipitation records show a sudden stop of rainfall in Morocco that is likely to worry farmers, especially in the Casablanca-Settat region.The head of the Regional Direction ofAgricultureof Casablanca Settat (DRA-CS), Abderrahman Naili, told Maghreb Arab Press (MAP) that the body has noticed a decrease in the level of cumulative rainfall and an increase in temperatures, especially in the ‘bours’ lands, which depend only on rainwater.Naili added that the harsh weather conditions in the ‘bours’ lands affect mostly cereals and vegetables.Meanwhile, “the situation is not alarming for irrigated lands,” Naili pointed out, evidenced in the growth in livestock feed at souks (local markets).However, the 2019/2020 agricultural season in the Casablanca-Settat region has experienced a general rainfall deficit, in both the ‘bours’ and the irrigated lands.The region recorded 132 millimeters ofcumulative rainfallon February 28, marking a deficit of 78% compared to the previous season.Naili stressed that farmers who have applied for Moroccan agricultural mutual insurance (MAMDA) will benefit from compensation in case their harvests are impacted by the drought, depending on the type of products.MAMDA and DRA-CS encourages farmers to insure their crops against drought and climatic hazards by organizing communication campaigns during every agricultural season.Every decade since 1970, the average temperature in Morocco has increased by 0.5°C, exceeding the global average by about 0.15 degrees.In October 2019, theIntergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC)projected a continued warming trend in Morocco.The Moroccan government has since launched a new nationalprogram for water, which came into effect on January 13.The $12 billion program concerns improving water supply through building dams ($6.4 billion), managing demand and developing irrigation systems for the agricultural sector ($2.6 billion), and securing the drinking water supply in rural areas ($2.8 billion).The Minister of Agriculture, Aziz Akhannouch, affirmed that the 2020-2027 national program will supply irrigation water to an overall area of 510,000 hectares for the benefit of 160,000 Moroccan farmers.Meanwhile, Minister of Equipment Aldelkadeer Amara said that in order to improve Morocco’s water supply, the national program is set to build 20 large dams with a storage capacity of 5.38 billion cubic meters.

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