Lack of water and successive heat waves are impeding agricultural activity in numerous Moroccan locations, affecting crops and agriculture professionals across the country.
The most recent increase in temperature in Morocco set a new record in August 2023 with a temperature of 50.4 degrees celsius, according to the Meteorological Directorate.
Following the extreme heat wave, growers of different kinds of vegetables and tomatoes are estimating their losses in several Moroccan regions, particularly the Souss-Massa region.
The cultivation of a variety of vegetables, particularly tomatoes, will not result in the anticipated harvest if heat waves persist. Tomatoes would either be burned during these heat waves or have its growth slowed.
“The most affected crops are grapes and corn, which was reflected in the prices in the Moroccan market as a result of poor production,” according to farmer advisor Ibrahim Aanbi.
The current heat wave, he continued, “had a greater impact on tomatoes, peppers, and various products destined for export, particularly in the absence of the necessary precautions for such exceptional climatic conditions.”
“High temperatures cause multiple crop diseases due to low tolerance, especially in light of the continuation of heat waves for days,” said agricultural expert Kamal Aberkani to MoroccoLatestNews AR.
Additionally, the temperatures inside the greenhouses used by farmers have been more than 5 degrees hotter than the outside temperatures, both day and night. Such temperature is too high for many agricultural crops to withstand.
The agricultural input and harvest are being impacted by the drought issue and water scarcity as well, which is negatively affecting crops.
On the other hand, lack of water also puts the supply and harvest of crops in peril. The tenth edition of the 2022 Financial Stability Report highlighted how vulnerable Morocco’s agricultural economy is because of worsening water shortages.
“Agricultural production decreased by 15% due to severe drought in the current year 2023, based on a report data by Fitch Agency.