MOROCCO – After the worst drought in the 2021/2022, Morocco has announced a cereal production of 55.1 million quintals ( 5.51Mt) for the 2022-2023 agricultural season, marking a significant increase of 61.8% compared to the previous year.
While this boost in production is a welcome sign, it still falls behind the nation’s normal output due to challenges posed by heat stress and water scarcity in key cereal-growing regions.
In 2022, the country suffered its worst drought in decades leading to a decline in cereal production by over 60% marking the largest decrease in the North African region.
Recently, the ministry announced that this year, rainfall has registered a significant increase from last year, with a cumulative rainfall level of 207 millimeters, 13% up from last year’s 184 millimeters.
As a result, the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) of the US Department of Agriculture projected Morocco’s cereal production to jump 62% in MY2023/24 on the back of improved weather conditions.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Maritime Fisheries, Rural Development, and Water and Forests has released a statement detailing the latest cereal production figures.
Morocco had produced 34 Mqx in the 2021-2022 season, the statement detailed, noting that this number stands in stark contrast to the remarkable increase seen in the 2022-2023 season.
Despite this positive news, the statement noted that certain factors have contributed to Morocco falling short of its typical cereal production levels. The primary culprits are heat stress and water stress in the major cereal-producing regions.
The Ministry’s report on the 2022-2023 agricultural season highlights that the country experienced a period of low rainfall.
As of July 20, 2023, the national cumulative rainfall amounted to 247 mm, representing a 32% decrease compared to a typical season’s 362 mm. However, this figure did mark a 22% improvement compared to the previous season’s 202 mm of rainfall.
The geographical distribution of production demonstrates that four regions dominate the nation’s cereal output. These regions are Fez-Meknes (27.1%), Rabat-Sale-Kenitra (26.5%), Casablanca-Settat (16.9%), and Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima (12.4%).
While the 2022-2023 agricultural season brought challenges in the form of adverse weather conditions, Morocco’s resilient agricultural sector has managed to significantly boost cereal production.
Therefore, the ministry is urging farmers and policymakers to continue to adapt and innovate to mitigate the impact of climate variability on the nation’s vital agricultural industry.