Cereal output expected to decline by 50%
Morocco, Economics, 5/13/2000
Cereal output in Morocco will not exceed 1.85 Million tons this year, recording a 50 % drop compared to the 1999 harvest which was already affected by a severe drought, announced minister in charge of relations with the parliament and acting spokesman of the government, Mohamed Bouzoubaa.
According to the agriculture department forecasts, soft wheat harvest will not exceed 0.9 million ton, hard wheat 0.4 million and barley 0.4 million, Bouzoubaa told reporters Thursday after the weekly cabinet meeting.
He said this is the most severe drought ever to affect Morocco, adding that a first package of 650 million dollars has been earmarked to fight drought effects in the rural world.
The amount will finance water supply, cattle protection and launching of projects to generate jobs for youth in rural areas.
The government will subsidize seeds during the coming agricultural campaign, Bouzoubaa said.
Agriculture contributes 20 % to Morocco's GDP and employs half of a 10 million workforce.
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