Professionalism Drives Rising Market
Morocco is the fifth-largest economy in Africa and has shown positive growth in 2014. Agriculture in Morocco is the main employer for the country’s 33 million people, and it contributes about 15% to the country’s GDP.
About 9 million hectares are arable land, of which only 4.6% (2011) are irrigated. Scarce irrigation makes smallholder farmers vulnerable to drought. In an average year, irrigated land contributes to 45% of agricultural production, 75% of agricultural exports and 35% of farm employment.
Morocco produces many agricultural commodities, especially cereals, grown on 63% of the arable land. Wheat production ranges from 1.5 to 10 million tonnes per year (an average of 7 million tonnes since 2005). Yet production meets only 60% of domestic demand. The cultivated area for wheat increased slightly from 2.6 million hectares in 2007 to 3.2 million hectares in 2013.
Cereal production in Morocco is highly dependent on the appearance of droughts and therefore varies greatly from year to year. The production of other crops remained more or less stable during the past years.
While comparing yields, they are increasing for the majority of crops. For cereals, yields were decreasing until 2010. Since 2012 they are improving but continue to be unstable. Compared with yields of other countries in this region, yields in Morocco are the highest only for tomatoes and watermelon. For almost all other crops, Morocco’s yields are low in the country comparison.
The major limits to agricultural growth in Morocco can be identified as: scarce land and water, precarious land tenure, periodic droughts, soil erosion, poor access to credit, lack of farmer organizations, rural illiteracy and tlow level of technical training.