Drought brings down Morocco‘s growth rates
The Moroccan national economy is expected to report low growth rates in 2000, reported Al-Hayat newspaper. This will be the second year in a row in which low growth rates are achieved, due to the impact of the drought on agriculture and the rising international energy costs.
The Moroccan GDP is expected to rise by only 1.9 percent by the end of 2000, whereas the average GDP growth rate throughout the world stands at 4.2 percent. According to Al-Ahram Al-Iktisadi magazine, the Moroccan Central Bank reported that the value of the Moroccan GDP had decreased by 0.5 percent in the second quarter of 2000, compared with the corresponding period of last year.
The main reason for this fall is the sharp decline in the local agricultural output. As a result of the drought the local grain output collapsed by 50 percent during the previous period. The Moroccan government has decided to undertake several measures to help local farmers cope with the destructive effects of drought.
One of these measures includes the subsidizing of locally produced wheat seeds by MD 65 per kentar. The government will subsidize the price per kentar of the imported wheat seeds by MD 280 and the per kentar price of imported barley seeds by MD 240. In addition, the prices of fertilizer will be subsidized by 7-14 percent. — (Albawaba-MEBG)