[Morocco] Heavy rainfall improves the productivity of agriculture and fruit exports
29-03-2021 11:48:12 | by: Pascaline Icyizere | hits: 3224 | Tags:

The heavy rainfall Morocco has experienced in the last three months has had a “very positive impact” on the country’s 2020-21 agricultural season, the Ministry of Agriculture, Maritime Fisheries, Rural Development and Water and Forests announced on Friday.

In its statement, the ministry explained that the recent waves of heavy rainfall have especially been critical for Moroccan agriculture’s prospects because they came after a sustained, worrying period of droughts and water deficit in the past five years.

“The significant and widespread rains recorded in January, February, and March have had a very positive impact on the evolution of the agricultural campaign,” said the ministry. The ministry published the statement at the end of a workshop that gathered “central and regional officials” to discuss the progress of Morocco’s current agricultural campaign.

According to the statement, recent downpours have improved the environment for plant growth, facilitated maintenance work for farmers, and markedly improved dams’ reservoirs and groundwater levels for agricultural use. It also emphasized a noted improvement in the situation of fruit farming, including an increase in the size and ripening levels for fruits. 

For the Moroccan ministry, the news comes as a welcome conclusion of successive seasons marked by unfavorable weather conditions and a significant water deficit that had a negative impact on the installation of autumn crops and the state of rangelands.

With the return of heavy, constant rainfall starting in late November 2020, Morocco has seen an encouraging acceleration in the pace of tillage and the planting and sales of agricultural inputs, the ministry noted.

In a related statement, also released on Friday this week, the Moroccan ministry added that the improved agricultural conditions have significantly impacted Morocco’s exports of fruits and vegetables. 

Between September 2020 and March 21, 2021, the volume of exports of citrus fruits increased by approximately 9% compared to the same period during the 2019-2020 agricultural season, said the statement. 

By March 21 of this year, exports of vegetable products had recorded a 3% increase in volume compared to the same period in the previous agricultural year.

Compared to last year’s exports figures, “the growth rate of the export of citrus during this campaign will be about 16%, according to data compiled by March 21 for both campaigns,” the statement quantified.

Moroccan authorities have suggested that, in addition to addressing Morocco’s water scarcity issues, this year’s sudden, constant downpour is expected to increase the country’s agriculture output to a level it has not reached since 2015.