The Moroccan minister of agriculture, rural development and fishing, Habib Al-Malki, expects the recent oil and gas discoveries in the kingdom to have a positive impact on the national economy.
The minister, quoted in Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper, anticipates the economic growth rate to jump as high as seven percent, compared to the current rate, which achieves a maximum of one percent. Moreover, these new discoveries are likely to improve and expand the capabilities and competitiveness of the local industrial and agricultural sectors.
Moreover, the report stated that the Moroccan minister expects the next farming season to be a moderate one and called for the allocation of all necessary resources to boost this sector. The new Moroccan agricultural strategy initially targets food self-sufficiency, which presently amounts to 60 percent, and afterwards deals with the agricultural export recovery. At present, Morocco produces 60 million kintars of grains annually.
According to a report in Al-Ahram Al-Iktissadi magazine, the new oil and gas resources discovered close to the Algerian border are estimated to contain 20 billion barrels of petroleum. King Mohammad the sixth announced that these sources will be allocated for the development of the local farming sector as well as for the support of rural communities in the kingdom. –(Albawaba-MEBG)