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blacklisted speculators and lobbyists

In North Africa, due to drought, the trend in cereal yields in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia is clearly revised downwards compared to the average, estimates the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The forecast for world wheat production in 2023 according to the Organization’s forecast should be around 785 million tonnes, thus reaching its second highest level on record. For the Kingdom according to what the Ministry of Agriculture, Maritime Fisheries, Rural Development and Water and Forests predicted In Morocco, cereal production should reach 55.1 million quintals during the 2022/2023 season against 34 million during its predecessor.

By species, the production of common wheat should reach 29.8 million quintals, that of durum wheat should stand at 11.8 million quintals while barley should reach 13.5 million quintals. But to do against bad luck with a good heart, this means however a considerable increase of around 62% compared to the previous campaign although the finance bill envisaged 75 million quintals. Which for the Executive should distort some or some forecast calculations.

Still according to the supervisory authority, the area dedicated to seeds of main cereals was nevertheless increased by 2.8%. It has thus increased from 3.57 million hectares in 2021/22 to 3.67 million hectares in the current campaign. That said, the FAO said that the downward trend in world grain prices continues to be confirmed. The UN organization announcing that they fell 2.3% in April and fell to their lowest level since July 2021.

This is mainly due to the effect of the abundance and the increase in exportable supplies, the favorable growing conditions in Europe and South America. The only downside to this global upturn is that few renewal of the so-called “Black Sea” agreement, the export of Ukrainian cereals is once again threatened. This means some risks of a backlash that some mainly African importing countries could suffer.

To come back to the sheep that graze on our land, the fall in cereal prices on the national market continues to raise controversy in Morocco. Farmers complain about it because it hits them hard. Indeed, supply and demand oblige, they see their production flowing out at very low prices for the benefit of speculators and other cereal lobbyists whom they do not fail to put on the index. Especially since the cost of producing before the harvest was substantial, unlike in past seasons.

This situation did not fail to challenge the deputy Abdelkader Taher (USFP) who, on behalf of the socialist group, raised the question on this during the weekly session of the House of Representatives, while denouncing the headlong rush of the ‘Executive. “We regret then that we are in the middle of the harvest season, that the price of cereals has fallen locally (estimated at 2.5 dirhams), while it is imported at 5 dirhams”. And Abdelkader Taher to support, “ Traders and speculators agree and buy locally produced cereals, at low prices, from the Moroccan farmer, without there being any action or intervention by anyone to protect him “.

Asked by MoroccoLatestNews, Rachid Benali, the head of the Moroccan Confederation for Agriculture and Rural Development (COMADIR), confirmed that prices should register a certain increase in the coming days, on the national market after ” the reversal of the government decision to prevent fodder production factories from buying cereals”.

Indeed, according to Benali, “the government has allowed owners of feed mills to buy low-quality grain for fodder production, while maintaining a decision to prevent them from using high-quality grain to produce flour and bread, in the animal process”.

In a previous statement to MoroccoLatestNews, Rachid Benali acknowledged the difficulty of dealing with the greed of speculators and traders who exploit farmers. “They acquire their annual grain harvest at low prices, and raise prices after buying the entire harvest. The president of COMADIR considered that we should return to the cooperative system like various European countries. This is one of the ways to effectively overcome the challenge facing the sector”.



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