The Ministry of Agriculture, Maritime Fisheries, Rural Development and Waters and Forests, communicated on Friday on the forecasts for the 2021/22 agricultural campaign. It shows that the forecast production of the main cereals (soft wheat, durum wheat and barley) is estimated at 32 million quintals (Mqx), down 69% compared to the previous campaign which had recorded record production.
A press release from the ministry thus notes that this production results from a cereal area sown under this campaign of 3.6 million hectares of 3 cereal species.
By species, the forecast cereal production reached 17.6 Mqx of soft wheat, 7.5 Mqx of durum wheat and 6.9 Mqx of barley, the ministry said, adding that more than 60% of the production comes from areas favorable regions of Fez-Meknes and Rabat-Salé-Kenitra.
Cereals in irrigated areas only contributed about 20% to overall production, due partly to the limited irrigated area under cereals and partly to irrigation restrictions in the perimeters of large hydraulics. .
In addition, the ministry points out that the 2021/22 agricultural campaign recorded rainfall which reached 188 mm at the end of April 2022, a decrease of 42% compared to the average of the last 30 years (327 mm) and 35% compared to the previous campaign (289 mm) on the same date.
In addition to the low rainfall and its delay, the rainfall profile was also characterized by poor temporal and territorial distribution. Nearly 55% of total rainfall occurred in March and April and less than a third of precipitation occurred in November and December.
And the ministry stresses that “the very low rainfall, or even its absence in several regions during the months of January and February, caused stress affecting the plant cover and a delay in the growth of autumn crops, especially cereals”.
This period, he continues, coincided with the tillering stage of cereals, a determining stage of development for the yields of these crops, noting that, consequently, this stress has induced a more or less significant drop in yields depending on the region. going as far as the loss of surface areas in certain areas. “It is in favorable bour areas in the north of the country that cereals experienced a good recovery in the spring after the rains of March and April, resulting in a catch-up in terms of productivity”, notes the ministry.
Satellite image monitoring of the vegetation cover shows vegetation profiles that are generally similar to the 2015-2016 agricultural campaign, he further indicates.
Apart from cereals, the other crops are showing a favorable state. Indeed, overall, the cumulative rains since the beginning of March have contributed to the restoration of the plant cover to normal levels and ensured the smooth running of spring crops.
Thus, it is expected that the sugar beet whose harvest has just started in several regions will record good yield performance. Citrus, olive and rosaceae in the flowering stage show good production prospects, although they remain dependent on the evolution of weather conditions, particularly the temperatures in May and June.
In addition, this last rainy episode in March and April favored a good establishment of spring crops and seasonal market gardening crops as well as their development under favorable conditions.
Good export performance
Exports recorded good growth, the statement said, adding that citrus exports during the current campaign have shown a remarkable increase compared to the previous campaign, reaching 711 thousand tons, against 549 thousand tons the previous campaign, i.e. an increase of 30%.
Similarly, positive performances were also observed for fruit and vegetable exports with an exported volume exceeding 1.5 million tonnes, an increase of 16% compared to the last campaign. This good performance is due in particular to the increase in exports of various vegetables (+11%) and various fruits (+63%), in particular grapes, peaches, nectarines, avocado and organic melon, apricot.
Furthermore, the department of Sadiki emphasizes that the situation of the livestock sector, thanks to the support provided to breeders by the exceptional program to reduce the impact of the rainfall deficit, and the improvement of rangelands and fodder resources of the spring season, has picked up sharply, allowing the sector’s performance to be maintained as a whole.
Agricultural GDP down 14%
The ministry further indicated that the forecast agricultural gross domestic product (GDPA) is expected to show a maximum decline of about 14 percent in 2022.
This development is explained by the exceptional performance recorded the previous campaign 2020/2021 and the unfavorable climatic conditions of the current campaign, noted the ministry, noting that the impact of this drop on the overall GDP should not exceed -1, 7 point.
“The good forecasts for the performance of spring crops and the olive, citrus and market gardening sectors, combined with the support measures provided to stockbreeders and the rural economy in general within the framework of the exceptional program to reduce the impact of the rainfall deficit, will contribute to partially offset the effects of the fall in the production of autumn cereals, thus making it possible to limit the impact of the water deficit on the growth of the agricultural sector”, it is underlined.
Indeed, according to the same source, the 2021/2022 agricultural campaign recorded rainfall which reached 188 mm at the end of April 2022, a decrease of 42% compared to the average of the last 30 years (327 mm) and 35 % compared to the previous campaign (289 mm) on the same date, noting that monitoring by satellite images of the vegetation cover shows vegetation profiles that are generally similar to the 2015-2016 agricultural campaign.