Cereals, the first beneficiary of this rain

In recent weeks, Morocco, which was experiencing an unprecedented drought, has recorded heavy rainfall, giving hope to farmers. Between Friday and Saturday, more than 100mm of rain were recorded by the General Directorate of Meteorology in certain regions.

These precipitations, which should continue according to the forecasts, come at the right time according to the experts, to save the 2022 agricultural campaign, hitherto threatened, and fill our dams which were almost empty (filling rate of the dams on December 9 2022: 23.9%).

As for the crops most affected by this rainfall, and which risked being ” lostes”, these include, according to Mohamed Benata, cereals. The Agricultural Engineer, Doctor of Geography, President of the Espace de Solidarité et de Coopération de l’Oriental (ESCO) felt that this is the ideal time to work the soil, the seeds and the preparation of the cereal crop.

If we had missed this crucial period, namely October and November, we would have missed our cereal campaign. Of course, other crops are also affected, especially the vegetables and fruits that we consume on a daily basis, and which will also benefit from this rain.“, he stressed, noting that the month of December, and despite the delay in rainfall, marks the ultimate period to save the agricultural campaign and recover a little at the level of the dams.

In addition, the ecologist did not fail to return to the situation of our dams and our water table, which according to him is ” critical “. In this sense, he points to the population’s lack of awareness of the extent of the crisis.

What happened is that we exhausted the dams. Today, they do not exceed a filling rate of 24%, and there are some that are at 4 or 5%. When the stock of the dams was exhausted, the big farmers who have the means headed for the water table, there was an unprecedented pumping of this strategic water stock, which we also exhausted, and that here is the real problem“, he remarks.

In this regard, Benata deplored the lack of data regarding groundwater in Morocco.

The Ministry of Equipment must provide us with this data, as it provides the situation of the dams. Because the water table represents the strategic reserves of the country, to which we have recourse in the event of drought precisely when there is more water on the surface, in particular for drinking water“, he argues.

The Agricultural Engineer thus returns to the declaration of the Minister of Equipment and Water, Nizar Baraka, who indicated before the House of Councilors in July that 91% of the wells dug on the national level are clandestine.

That is, anyone with financial means can dig a well, install photovoltaics and start pumping water en masse. And suddenly, we started to pump water, which should not normally be used for agriculture, but which had to be preserved as a strategic stock in the event of drought, like what we are currently experiencing.he laments.

If we fall into another year of drought, which we do not want, we will not find water to drink. Agriculture has depleted our water table. But the data concerning the state of our water tables are not updated like what is done for dams. Now, our policies must review the management of our water resources. We must control and supervise the drilling of each well via meters to control our water tables, to have an idea and not fall into a crisis when we need our strategic reserves“, pleads the expert.

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