Moroccan gov't outs anti-drought scheme

APA - Rabat (Morocco)

The Moroccan government Thursday announced its program to mitigate the effects of drought a day after a meeting between King Mohammed VI and Prime Minister Aziz Akhannouch, during which the monarch called for the implementation of urgent measures to deal with its consequences.

“In compliance with the king’s instructions (...), the government has developed an exceptional program to mitigate the effects of the delay in rainfall and alleviate their impact on agricultural activities, by providing assistance to farmers and breeders affected", the Office of the Prime minister said.

The program revolves around three main areas: the first concerns the protection of animal and plant capital and the management of water scarcity, the second aims at agricultural insurance and the third relates to the alleviation of financial burdens of farmers and professionals, the release said.

The Hassan II Fund for Economic and Social Development will contribute three billion dirhams to this program, according to the PM's office.

The action program of the first axis, whose cost is €281 million (three billion DH), involves the distribution of seven million quintals of subsidized barley to the benefit of farmers and 400,000 tons of compound feed for dairy farmers.

The objective is to mitigate the impact of rising feed prices and declining availability of fodder, for a total cost of 2.1 billion DH, as well as the vaccination and treatment of 27 million head of sheep and goats, 200,000 head of camels and treatment of bees against Varroa, for a budget of €28 million (300 million DH)

This program also includes the rehabilitation of small and medium hydraulic perimeters for the maintenance of equipment and the creation of employment opportunities through the development.

It also includes the upgrading of pipes and Khettara, for a budget of 255 million DH, the watering of livestock through the development and equipment of water points, the acquisition of tanks and tankers and the development of routes on an area of 10.000 hectares, for a budget of 224 million DH.

It also covers supplemental irrigation for the sustainability of newly planted orchards (2 to 5 years), developed in the context of solidarity farming on an area of 55,000 hectares, for a total budget of 121 million DH.

Regarding the second axis of the program, relating to the multi-risk insurance of the current agricultural season, and focuses on accelerating the implementation of drought insurance for farmers, for a capital insured by farmers reaching €112 million (1.12 billion DH) on an area of one million hectares.

The third axis, relating to the alleviation of financial burdens of farmers and professionals, is endowed with a budget of €562 million (six billion DH), and aims to reschedule the debt of farmers, the financing of supply operations of the national market in wheat and livestock feed, in addition to financing innovative investments in irrigation.


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