The project to reconstruct the cactus areas in the Doukkala region, which targets the territory of the village community of Boulaouane in Oulad Ifrej (El Jadida Province), is a promising project that aims to enhance local agricultural development.
Since last June, the Regional Directorate of Agriculture in the Casablanca-Settat region has begun implementing a project to reconstruct the cactus areas in the Doukkala region, after it was completely eradicated by the cochineal insect, thanks to the arrival of seedlings resistant to it.
In this regard, Fathallah Fneish, head of the Agricultural Development District of Oulad Ifrej, affiliated with the Regional Office for Agricultural Investment in Doukkala, confirmed in a statement to the Maghreb Arab Press that the project to reconstruct the cactus areas comes within the framework of introducing new types of cactus resistant to the cochineal insect into the soil of the Bouloouane community.
Fneish added that the National Institute of Agricultural Research succeeded in finding 8 species resistant to the same insect, as the agricultural district benefited from 3 species grown over a period of three years on an area exceeding 500 hectares.
The head of the Agricultural Development District explained that the Regional Office for Agricultural Investment in Doukkala, in coordination with one of the agricultural cooperatives in Boulaouane, was able to plant 130 hectares during the year 2023 for the benefit of 63 farmers, in addition to 155 hectares next year, and the remainder will be planted during the third season.
He continued that the goal of this process is to work to revive this type of agriculture, which is no longer marginal agriculture, but has become, thanks to the green plan and green generation policy, one of the pillars of local agricultural development.
The cactus cultivation project received great interest from farmers in Boulawan, especially since it has lands that are not suitable for growing grains, but are mainly suitable for adopting alternative, income-generating crops, especially fruit trees such as figs, olives, pomegranates, and drought-resistant cacti.
In a similar statement, Hassan Hamrour, head of the Khair Mabrouka Cooperative, confirmed that farmers are currently interested in growing aloe vera and engaging in it to compensate for grain cultivation due to the successive years of drought.
Hamrour added that about 50 farmers in the Boulawan area began digging the land in February 2023, and benefited from the process of establishing seedlings last June.
For his part, Mustafa Kharboush, general secretary of the Khair Mabrouka Cooperative, explained that the project to revive cactus cultivation, which disappeared from the region about 8 years ago, was launched by planting 130 hectares, indicating that the cooperative began registering another batch of farmers to plant another 155 hectares during the year. Coming.