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March 19, 2012

Morocco: 2012 cereal harvest to be less than 50% that of 2011

Poor rains in Morocco may mean that the country's cereal harvest for 2012 may be less than half the previous harvest, forcing greater reliance on imports.

Mohamed Badraoui, head of the National Institute for Agricultural Research, told Reuters that less than 4 million tonnes of cereals were expected to be harvested this year, compared to 8.4 million tonnes in 2011.

"This year will be very difficult for farming in Morocco ... It is the worst year as far as rainfalls are concerned since 2007, " Badraoui said.

He said the country's annual cereals consumption did not exceed 7 million tonnes.

Sugar cane and sugar beet production levels are also expected to decline this year because of poor rains. Morocco usually supplies about 30% of its own sugar requirement, the rest coming from imports which will rise this year.

African Agriculture 

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