Rabat – Morocco will distribute 2.5 million quintals of subsidized barley for farmers in the regions affected by drought, announced the Ministry of Agriculture on Tuesday, March 24.
Distribution is scheduled to start on Friday, March 27, in collaboration with local authorities.
Barley is one of the main livestock feed in Morocco. Farmers will be able to purchase the subsidized barley for a fixed price of two dirhams per kilogram, while the government will cover the difference with the market price.
Most of the agricultural regions in Morocco suffered from a dry winter season. The lack of rain impacted farmers’ ability to grow fodder for their livestock, pushing them to purchase imported grains at high prices.
The agricultural support program will cover the transportation of barley from the sales center to the provinces concerned.
The National Interprofessional Office for Cereals and Legumes (ONICL), the National Office for Agricultural Council (ONCA), and the National Food Safety Office (ONSSA) are partnering up with the Moroccan government for the project.
This year, Morocco’s agricultural sector was not only hit by drought, but also by the coronavirus crisis. The initiative aims to mitigate some of the damage on the sector.
The drought does not severely affect the production of vegetables and fruits, as their production usually takes place in irrigated farms that do not rely solely on rainwater, assured the Ministry of Agriculture.
The ministry assured it is closely monitoring the development of the sector through daily indicators and is ready to implement any additional measures that may prove necessary.
The ministry has also imposed a series of sanitary measures on workers in the agricultural sector to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The measures concern the whole agricultural supply chain, including cultivation, packaging, and transportation.
Morocco’s agricultural production continues as usual, according to the ministry, despite the adverse impacts of climate and COVID-19.