Water experts who are thinking outside the box have realized that by exporting tomatoes, watermelons, strawberries, or oranges, Morocco is, in fact selling the water it lacks. In a country facing a severe drought, this is really unacceptable. Moroccan scientists, environmental activists, and associations are now warning against the consequences of water-intensive agriculture that mostly caters to export rather than self-sufficiency.
A recent government decision echoed this. Signed by the agriculture and budget ministers and published on September 22, it puts an end to subsidies for citrus, watermelon, and avocado crops, decried for their role in the drying up of certain regions. Concretely, it will no longer be possible to benefit from aid allowing investment in localized irrigation: digging of wells, pumping, drip equipment, etc.
The objective: to stop the extension of the irrigated areas of these crops which have “achieved, or even exceeded, the objectives set” for “leave room for other cultures,” says the Ministry of Agriculture. This aims to encourage cultures with “less water consumption, especially the carob tree, the cactus, the almond tree, the caper tree, the fig tree.”
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