Yesterday, Tuesday, September 26, 2023, the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Rural Development, Water and Forests, Mohamed Seddiqi, made a field visit to the provinces of Al Haouz, Chichaoua and Marrakesh affected by the earthquake of September 8, 2023. He also chaired a working session with members of the Marrakesh-Safi Chamber of Agriculture on the ministry’s intervention program after the earthquake. . He was accompanied by the President of the Agricultural Chamber of Marrakesh-Safi and an important delegation of officials from the Ministry.
At the level of the Asni community, Al Haouz Province, the Minister inspected the damage recorded at the level of two partially damaged valuation units.
This is a platform for marketing local products, which was established by the Regional Directorate of Agriculture and was placed at the disposal of an economically beneficial group that includes 21 cooperatives, for the benefit of 1,462 beneficiaries, including 252 women.
He also visited the walnut house, which was built and equipped by the Regional Directorate of Agriculture of Marrakesh and which is under the supervision of a cooperative that includes 50 beneficiaries, including 15 women, with a production capacity of 5 tons of walnuts annually and 2.4 tons of walnut oils per year.
At the level of the Thalassa Niqoub community in Al Haouz Province, the Minister visited two assessment units completed by the Regional Directorate of Agriculture, to see the damage recorded at the level of these two units.
The first unit is dedicated to beekeeping, managed by a union of 307 beneficiaries, and completed on an area of 1,300 square metres.
The second unit is a cooperative that includes 31 beneficiaries, including 6 women, built on an area of 600 square meters with an estimated wrapping capacity of 300 tons and a storage capacity of 33 tons of apples and 15 tons of vinegar.
With the same group, the minister was informed of the damage to the Aforiren Waterwheel, which was able to irrigate 40 hectares for small farmers. With a length of 1,571 metres, this stream is exploited by an agricultural water users association that includes 50 beneficiaries.
At the level of the Adassil territorial community in the province of Chichaoua, the Minister was informed of the damage to the rural road that was completed by the Regional Directorate of Agriculture within the framework of the program to reduce spatial and social disparities, along a length of 10.66 km. This road plays an important role in breaking the isolation of the residents of the Adassil and Emendunite communities, which is more than 40 roundabouts.
At the level of the same community in the Chichaoua Province, damage to a waterwheel resulting from rockslides in the Takakht roundabout, which is considered the most affected by the earthquake in the Chichaoua Province, was observed. This 2,000-meter-long waterwheel is part of a solidarity agriculture project with a total cost of 5.8 million dirhams. This watering can irrigate 35 hectares of fruit trees for the benefit of 119 beneficiaries.
At the headquarters of the Chamber of Agriculture in Marrakesh, the Minister held a working session on the Ministry’s intervention program with members of the Chamber of Agriculture, representatives of the three regions affected by the earthquake.
On this occasion, the Minister told the members of the Chamber that all the interests of the Ministry of Agriculture at the central and regional levels have been mobilized since the earthquake occurred in order to assess and assess the damage recorded at the agricultural sector level and to develop an action program to provide the necessary support to the affected population, and to rehabilitate and develop agricultural activity. The work program includes two fields: the agricultural field and the forestry field.
With regard to the agricultural field, and with regard to the first axis related to agricultural infrastructure, it is about ensuring access and breaking the isolation of farms and agricultural lands through reclaiming and establishing rural agricultural paths.
As well as protecting agricultural lands from erosion by building rock barriers, in addition to reclaiming small and medium irrigation circuits, reclaiming waterways, and creating and equipping water points.
As for the second axis related to the agricultural economic infrastructure, it is mainly concerned with rehabilitating, building and equipping valuation units and cooperative headquarters, rehabilitating and building slaughterhouses, rehabilitating weekly and local markets, as well as equipping and rehabilitating barns, stables and animal shelters.
As for the third axis, it relates to rebuilding agricultural capital and reviving animal chains through reconstructing livestock (distributing animals to those affected), distributing livestock feed, implementing solidarity agriculture projects, and other income-generating activities.
After that, the Minister opened a discussion with members of the Chamber about the impact of the earthquake on the agricultural sector at the level of the three regions and the necessary measures for economic recovery in the affected areas.