Morocco’s government is increasing its irrigation programs budget from MAD 115 billion (USD$10.8 billion) to MAD 150 billion (USD$14 billion).
A statement indicated the budget would go to fund the National Drinking Water Supply and Irrigation Program (PNAEPI) 2020-2027, a state program to accelerate the adoption of irrigation for farming and mitigate the effect of adverse weather on agriculture.
The government-issued statement noted it is “adopting various measures to address the delay in the deployment of a number of projects, in parallel with the launch of studies on new projects that will see the light of day in the short and medium term,” and that “the government has ensured in this context to accelerate the pace of investment in this area and to strengthen the budget dedicated to the program that was raised from 115 to 150 billion dirhams.”
The irrigation program is part of a nationwide strategy to mitigate the effect of dwindling water resources. As of 2022, Morocco’s agriculture remains largely rainfall-dependent, making it particularly vulnerable to droughts.
Water security “is a challenge that the government is working to address the water stress that our country due to successive years of drought and scarcity of water resources on the surface as in the aquifers,” said Aziz Akhannouch, Morocco’s head of government.
The consecutive droughts in Morocco have negatively affected its water resources. Between 1960 and 2020, the share of water resources per capita fell from 2560 cubic meters to 620 cubic meters, well below the World Bank’s recommended average of 1000 cubic meters. Morocco ranks among the countries with the lowest water resources per capita.
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