The Moroccan government has allocated 10.3 billion dirhams to develop agriculture in the regions affected by the earthquake that struck of the kingdom on September 8, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Rural Development, Water and Forests, Mohamed Sadiki announced on Monday.
The new integrated program, which concerns both agricultural and forestry sectors, takes into account the assessment of damages and provides for the development of adequate action plans, Sadiki pointed out at the oral question session of the House of Representatives on the current agricultural campaign.
At a cost of 7.6 billion dirhams, the program in its agricultural component is based on three points. The first concerns agricultural infrastructure, including the preparation and creation of 1,153 kilometers of rural agricultural circuits, the protection of agricultural land against erosion through the construction of stone dykes, the rehabilitation and reconstruction of 718 kilometers of canals in small irrigation schemes, as well as the development and creation of water points and the rehabilitation of 92 agricultural product valorization units and affected agricultural cooperatives.
The second point aims to upgrade the infrastructure of the agricultural economy in rural areas by rehabilitating 33 weekly rural markets, 13 slaughterhouses, including 3 dedicated to poultry, in addition to the development of 680 shelters and animal stables.
As for the third point, it concerns the reconstruction of agricultural capital and the revitalization of animal production sectors, through 40 solidarity agriculture projects. It also includes the distribution of 650,000 quintals of barley, and compensation for losses of sheep, goats and cattle suffered by breeders in the affected areas.
In its forestry component, the program, estimated at 2.7 billion dirhams, is focused on the preservation of water and soil, the rehabilitation of water basins and forests, the development and promotion of ecotourism in the Toubkal National Park, as well as the distribution of 5,000 heating stoves and 10,000 tonnes of firewood.
The minister noted that this program will be implemented over a period of five years, divided into two phases. The first emergency phase, with a budget of 611 million dirhams, begins in October, with the aim of repairing the damage caused by the earthquake and thus allowing farmers to resume their agricultural activities.
The second phase aims to strengthen the development of these regions through new projects aimed at strengthening and implementing the regional plans of the “Generation Green” strategy. The aim, he said, is to modernize production systems, create employment opportunities and improve farmers’ income.
In this regard, Sadiki noted that the details of the agreements for the emergency phase of this program have been prepared and will be launched on Tuesday.
Source: Relief Web