How Morocco became Africa’s agricultural oasis

How Morocco became Africa’s agricultural oasis

With the rolling dunes of the Sahara desert overlapping its borders, Morocco may be an unlikely candidate to lead the region in water control and management.

Yet it is precisely these natural features and the challenge of water scarcity that prompted the country to invest heavily in irrigation to boost food production and withstand droughts.

Today, Morocco mobilises an estimated 22 billion cubic meters of water, and has equipped around 20 per cent of all its cultivated land for irrigation.

As a new report launched at the Malabo Montpellier Panel Forum in Rabat reveals just six per cent of arable land in Africa is irrigated, Morocco can offer valuable insights to help other countries tap into this enormous potential to expand irrigation.

One key factor in Morocco’s experience was first to recognise the importance of agriculture to broader economic and social goals, and then to recognise the importance of irrigation to agriculture.

Placing agriculture at the heart of Moroccan policies and taking into account relative water scarcity, it quickly became apparent that developing the irrigation sector was crucial to meet expected economic growth and ensure food security of the population.

Read the full article by Karim El Aynaoui, Managing Director of Policy Center for the New South | via Farming First.

[Photo by Richard Allaway | Flickr]

How Morocco became Africa’s agricultural oasis

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The Euro-Mediterranean AGORA is a way to engage the civil society in the institutional and policy dialogue on research and innovation with the aim of becoming an integral part of the decision making and governance processes.

The Agora is an important component of the broader MEDSPRING project, supported by the European Union with the aim of strengthening the Euro-Mediterranean dialogue and cooperation on research and innovation.