Morocco predicts sharp decline in grain production due to drought

(MENAFN) The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Rural Development, Water and Forests in Morocco anticipates a significant drop in grain production to 3.12 million tons this year, a 43 percent decrease from last year due to drought.

In a statement via the official news agency, the ministry detailed expected outputs of 1.75 million tons of soft wheat, 0.71 million tons of hard wheat, and 0.66 million tons of barley.

The cultivated area for major grains has reduced by 33 percent, down to 2.47 million hectares from 3.67 million hectares last season. The harvestable area is estimated at 1.85 million hectares, approximately 75 percent of the cultivated land.

The ministry reported that rising temperatures have intensified water stress in Morocco, causing increased evaporation from dams. They predict that average temperatures will increase by 1.3 degrees Celsius by 2050.

As of May 22, 2024, national average rainfall was around 237 mm, 31 percent lower than the normal 349 mm, but 9 percent higher than the previous season's 217 mm. The dam fill rate for agricultural use nationally was about 31 percent, compared to 30 percent last season.

According to the ministry, the 2023-2024 agricultural season is taking place under challenging climatic conditions that have persisted for five years. Delayed rainfall resulted in a prolonged early-season drought, negatively impacting the state of autumn crops.



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