It is a good agricultural season 2020-2021, even excellent, in perspective if we rely on the words or answers to the delicate exercise of oral questions, that the Minister of Agriculture, Maritime Fisheries, Development Rural and Water and Forests, Aziz Akhannouch, held during the week in the House of Representatives.
Responding to two oral questions, relating to the ministry’s action programs for the agriculture and maritime fishing sectors and the current and current agricultural season, Akhannouch of a reading of edifying figures and comforting indicators, has presented a review halfway through the agricultural season, to say the least very reassuring. The minister praised the mercy of the heavens and the “heavy and well distributed” rainfall in November 2020, which he said coincided with the launch of planting and plowing operations.
First observation: the evolution of the state of autumn cereals which will have a positive impact on the livestock sector. The area sown in autumn cereals, under this season, amounts to more than 4.2 million Ha, of which 44% soft wheat, 34% barley and 22% durum wheat, noting that the situation of 75% of the sown area is very satisfactory. Moreover, in relation to that and to the upcoming production, it has been indicated that the customs duties on the import of cereals will be revised upwards, since we will import less.
Thanks to this development, the livestock sector is experiencing a growth of 3% and eight million heads of sheep and goats identified for the celebration of Eid Al-Adha, the ministry ensuring the equipment of 30 souks temporary for that. As for legumes, they occupy about 168,000 Ha, 6% of which is irrigated, while the area sown with sugar beet is 46,155 Ha, it was pointed out. A harvest of nearly 3 million tonnes of sugar beet is expected, despite limited water resources in the districts of Doukkala and Moulouya. With regard to sugar cane, the area in place amounts to nearly 12,425 Ha, of which 10,260 Ha can be harvested. Total production is estimated at 60,000 tonnes.
Regarding the cultivation of fruits and vegetables, the Minister indicated that the efforts of all stakeholders made it possible to carry out two important programs, noting that nearly 109,000 Ha could be achieved during the autumn season and 31,470 Ha during the fall season. winter season. In addition, the spring planting of fruits and vegetables on an area of 91,600 ha is nearing completion, in order to meet the needs of the markets during the summer.
The Department of Agriculture expects an increase of 28% in the production of citrus fruits, 14% of olives and 4% of dates. National production, which depends on the weather in May and April, will in the best case cover consumption needs until September 2021. Regarding the phoenicultural sector, the Green Morocco Plan has given it particular importance, so much so that a considerable increase in the harvest was observed, going from 90,000 tonnes to 127,000 tonnes of dates. This part concluded with an increase in production due to the joint work carried out by the National Agency for the Development of Oasis and Argan Zones (ANDZOA) which, since its creation in 2010, works to strengthen the argan and date sectors by supporting the players in these sectors and by planting (3 million palm trees by 2020) and regenerating new trees, in addition to promoting the products from crops. This last sector covers an area of 67,000 Ha (50 + 17).
However, the season had started badly, the rainfall deficit before the first rains was 10% and if, all in all, the prospects in fine, bode well, it is because the agricultural season 2020/2021 for its rendering of copy rather copious will be spent between two drops of rain. The importance and regularity of rainfall recorded this season, had a good impact on the state of crops, fruit trees and pastures and also beneficial effects on the water table in different regions of the Kingdom. We want more!