Heavy Rains Fill Dams Help Moroccan Farms

Rabat – Moroccans planted 3.5 million hectares of wheat on 4.5 million hectares of land. Morocco planted 2.5 million hectares of seedlings on 5 million hectares of land, the Ministry of Agriculture said.In the Gharb region, however, the heavy rainfall has delayed planting because access to the region’s land is difficult.The agriculture ministry’s measures this season included providing the market with 680,000 tons of fertilizers and 2.2 million quintals of selected seeds, 700,000 of which were sold by November 16. Read also: Moroccan Farmers Planting Fewer Tomatoes, More BlueberriesThe selected seeds are genetically improved and certified. The ministry explained that it supplied enough seeds in the market to meet the demand, because farmers habitually keep part of their crop from the last season to use as seeds.Moroccans planted legumes on 130,000 hectares out of 260,000 hectares of land.The ministry added that the citrus harvest will be delayed by 10 days due to the cold wave that swept Morocco. The delay partly explains why Morocco only exported 35,000 tons of citrus in the 12 months up to November 16, down from 100,000 tons in the previous 12 months.Read also: First Shipment of Moroccan Citrus Arrives in the US and CanadaMorocco received, on average, 140 millimeters of rain from the beginning of the rainy season in late September to November 16. Last year, in the same period, Morocco received only 67 millimeters of rain. The average rainfall in some regions tripled, as in the case of Fez-Meknes, which recorded 300 millimeters of rain.The southern provinces also benefited from the recent rain, recording more than 50 millimeters. The quality of grazing pastures in the southern range areas has improved, reducing the need to migrate livestock to the north.The rain has also partially refilled dams used for irrigation to the tune of 8 billion cubic meters. By November 16, dams were on average 60 percent full, 4 billion cubic meters more than a year earlier.Read also: Morocco’s Citrus Exports Generate MAD 3 Billion YearlyBy the same date, the Moulouya dam in northeastern Morocco reached a fill rate of 85 percent over 14 percent a year earlier. The Loukkos dam in northern Morocco was 80 percent full by mid-November, and El Haouz was 75 percent full.The Doukkala dam in west-central Morocco recorded a poorer showing, only 40 percent full. read more

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