The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Rural Development, and Water and Forests, Mohammed Sadiki, paid a field visit to the Province of Taroudant, on October 1, to assess the effects of the earthquake on the agricultural sector.
According to a press release by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Rural Development, and Water and Forests, Minister Sadiki also chaired a working session on the Department’s earthquake response program with members of the Chamber of Agriculture of the Souss Massa Region representing the affected Territorial Communes.
In the Tizintaste commune of the Taroudant province, the Minister inspected the damage to the rural road linking the Regional Route 203 to the Argue douar, which was built by the Souss Massa Regional Department of Agriculture under the Agricultural Development Fund over a length of 5.4 Km with a budget of MAD 7,4 million and has opened up six douars with a population of over 1200 beneficiaries.
In the same commune, the Minister assessed the damage of two small and medium-scale hydroelectric schemes (PMH) affected by the earthquake, notably due to soil subsidence.
The first one is the Ait Oublal-Ighirane perimeter which covers 15 hectares of fruit trees, benefiting 100 beneficiaries. This infrastructure, supplied by a 2200 ml network of irrigation and seguias structures, was built by the Regional Agricultural Development Office (ORMVA) of Souss Massa as part of the Integrated Rural Development for the Enhancement of Bour areas (DRI-MVB) project.
The second small and medium-scale hydroelectric scheme that the Minister visited was the Agadir Ljamaa-Talborine site. Equipped with a 2100 ml network of seguia with structures, the Agadir Ljamaa-Talborine site irrigates an area of 10 hectares of fruit trees for 66 beneficiaries, and it was also developed by the Regional Agricultural Development Office (ORMVA) of Souss Massa as part of the Integrated Rural Development for the Enhancement of Bour areas (DRI-MVB) project.
The Minister chaired a working session at the headquarters of the Chamber of Agriculture in Taroudant on the Department’s intervention program with members of the Chamber of Agriculture representing the Territorial Communes affected by the earthquake.
During the meeting, the Minister informed the members of the Chamber of Agriculture that all the services of the Department of Agriculture at the central and regional levels had been mobilized since the day of the earthquake to observe and assess the damage recorded in the agricultural sector and to draw up a dedicated intervention program to provide the necessary support to the affected populations and to rehabilitate and develop agricultural activity.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, the first priority for agricultural infrastructures is to guarantee access and open up farms and plots of land by rehabilitating and building farm tracks, installing anti-erosion structures to combat erosion, rockslides, and landslide phenomena, and rehabilitating small and medium-scale hydro-agricultural infrastructures and Seguias, and installing and equipping water points.
The second priority relates to agricultural economic infrastructure, mainly involving the development, construction and equipping of value-adding units and cooperative premises, the upgrading and rehabilitation of slaughterhouses, the rehabilitation of weekly and local markets, and the development and rehabilitation of sheds, stables, and animal shelters.
The third priority concerns the reconstitution of agricultural production capital and the revival of livestock sectors through the reconstitution of livestock (distribution of livestock to disaster victims), the distribution of livestock feed and the implementation of solidarity farming projects and other income-generating activities.
According to the same source, the Minister discussed with the members of the chamber the impact of the earthquake on the agricultural sector in the province of Taroudant, and suggested actions for the economic recovery of the areas and communes affected.