Status of wheat production and food security in Morocco

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By Dahan Rachid and Nsarellah Nasserlehaq*
*Corresponding author: N.Nasserlehaq@cgiar.org

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Status of wheat production and food security in Morocco

  1. 1. STATUS OF WHEAT PRODUCTION AND FOOD SECURITY IN MOROCCO Dahan R. And Nsarellah N. Institu National de la Recherche Agronomique. Rabat, Morocco. AreasIntroduction 3 000 2 500 Areas (1000 Ha)Wheat (Bread and durum wheat) is a major crop and staple food in Morocco. Bread and durum wheat are planted respectively on over two 2 000 BWmillion hectares and on one million hectares. The bulk of wheat area and production is mainly rainfed (94% and 74%, respectively) and takes DWplace in drought-prone environments characterized by relatively low (between 200 and 450mm) precipitations. These environments are further 1 500 Maizplagued by a highly variable precipitation pattern and a high occurrence of drought that translate into large inter-annual fluctuations in rainfed 1 000 Barleywheat production. 500 0Production 1960 1964 1968 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 2008National bread wheat yearly production ranges from 10 to 45 MT while that of durum wheat ranges from 7 to 25 MT. Yields are variable and Yearsrange from 7 Q/ha in bad seasons to 22 in good seasons (in national averages). Yields are greater in irrigated ad / or favorable areas (superiorto 45 Q/ha). Yields have been improving at the average rate of 1 to 2 percent /year even if drought has been increasing in Frequency and Productionseverity. It is the yield maxima (good seasons) that have been improving while minima (bad seasons) have been kept constant. Studies showthat rainfal in some drought prone zones has fallen by up to 25 percent (100mm). 50 000 45 000National sufficiency rates and food security 40 000 Production (1000 Qx) 35 000 30 000 BreadwheatRecent decades national sufficiency rates ranged from 30 to 80% for bread wheat and from 35% to 65% in durum wheat. The rate of self 25 000 Durum wheat Maizsufficiency has been improving by an average 0,5%/ year for durum wheat and 2,5% /year for bread wheat. Wheat production improvement and 20 000 Barleyimportation have made it possible for Morocco to assure an acceptable level of food security in regards to wheat. However, recent 15 000developments in International market and the rise in the global warming effects (droughts) on many major world producers are sending troubling 10 000signals that Morocco should better secure its self sufficiency through local means and strategies. 5 000 0 60 64 68 72 76 80 84 88 92 96 00 04 08The main environmental constraints and research achievements 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 20 20 20 YearsWater deficits loom as one of the greatest challenges to cereal production in Morocco. Increasing droughts (higher in severity and frequency)have drastically affected cereal yield in the last decades. Wheat harvests swing sharply due to cyclic recurrent droughts. Although the variety Yieldsimprovement is responsible for almost half of the improvement along with other cropping technology, experimentation shows that the varietyfactor is responsible for 11 % of the yield variation while the environment (year, site, year by site,) is responsible for 89% of variation). This 25,0pattern is explained by the fact that water stress is the main factor in yield variation. Next to water stress, biotic stresses such as Hessian fly, 20,0 Yields (Qx/ha) BWyellow and brown rusts, Leaf blights and root rots are paramount. They relate to the climatic situation and follow the same fluctuating and 15,0 DWdamaging trail. In this context, INRA has devoted special breeding program for developing wheat varieties that tolerate drought and other biotic Maiz 10,0and abiotic stresses. In fact, and up to the year 2011, INRA has developed 35 durum wheat varieties and 26 bread wheat varieties. Barley 5,0INRA has released the first ever adapted bread wheat varieties that are resistant to Hessian fly (i.e. to the biotype prevalent in Morocco) and alsothe first hessian fly resistant durum wheat in the entire region. With regard to crop management, research in Morocco has developed 0,0 1960 1964 1968 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 2008technologies that can boost wheat yield and production, e.g., integrated crop management, supplemental irrigation, reduced/no-till system, forwater and soil productivity. Despite research results on the no-till system, the acreage is still very limited. YearsThe technology transfer challenge Sufficiency rate 1995 - 2007Despite the large number of varieties released, only few of the newest varieties are used by farmers: the rate of variety replacement is very low. 100 y = 0,5438x + 62,269In fact, several (8) INRA released varieties are not yet in any seed multiplication channel due to lack of interest by the seed sector. Most of these 90 80 R2 = 0,027 % coverageunsold variéties are resistant to Hessian fly and could be very helpfull in dry yearss. Certified seeds use represents only 11% of the quantity of 70 60 Tx couverture BT Tx couverture BDseeds used in wheat production. This low rate of access to genetic progress by farmers and producers is due to fragmentary and traditional 50 Linéaire (Tx couverture BT) 40 y = 2,4638x + 35,762extension services in Morocco and problems associated with seed marketing. 30 Linéaire (Tx couverture BD) 20 R2 = 0,3143The appropriation of INRA varieties is normally guaranteed through a channel of official national call to public and private seed multiplication 10 0partners. Several wheat varieties are used by SONACOS Company for commercial seed production while other are used by private seed 20 00 19 -96 19 -97 19 -98 99 9 20 01 20 -02 20 -03 20 -04 20 -05 20 -06 7sectors. These companies also import wheat variety from overseas. The introduction of these foreign varieties is not entirely due to the seed 19 98-9 -0 0 - 95 96 97 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 -2 19demand but to the burden of royalties’ payment and to the low technical efficiency in seed production process, which results in high rejection rate(thus high costs) during certified seed production. There are ten private seed companies based in Morocco and thirty five foreigh companies Yearsthat have set representation in The country and sold the rights to their varieties. The number of foreign varieties registered in the Moroccancatalog has dramatically increased in the last two decades.The contribution of INRA varieties in total sales of certified seeds for the last four years by SONACOS varies between 35% and 75%. In droughty 25years, foreign varieties are not well adapted to limited water availability and associated stresses which impair seed production and result in lowwheat quality and productivity. INRA varieties which are streamlined for tolerance and adaptation to water stress guarantee better and secure 20 200 199 199 200production. Most farmers have a tendency to save INRA varieties for their intrinsic adaptation to local environment and yield stability vis-à-vis 198 199global warming effects. Self-appropriation by farmers for local (ancient) varieties is also due to socio-economic considerations. 198 200 Yields (Q/ha) 15 198 199 199 198 197 200The value chain challenge 198 198 198 10 199 198 198 200 200 199Bread wheat production is in most part used by the milling industry. High quality bread wheat grain is imported and are is used in blending with 199the local grain production for a better end-products. It could be safely stated that for bread wheat values chain is modernized and is using local 5 198 199 199 200production to the most possible. However and for durum wheat, local production is not used by the industrial sector. This is due to uneven qualityand produced lots sizes (due to small holdings sizes). Also and in order to satisfy the milling industry demand, farmers should use more 0appropriate agronomic management packages (such as high nitrogen) that may not guaranty high profitability in drought prone situations or in 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10111213141516171819202122232425262728low fertility soils. In other terms, farmers are asked to tune fertilizer management in order to achieve high grain quality in order to satisfy milling Yearsstandards with a risk of an uncertain outcome in terms of production, commercialization and finally profit.Industrialized qualilty production needs a working value chain producers. The best varieties ought to be bought for the relevant regions, by seed 25producers, and seed should be sold to significant producers that are concerned by the quality of their production which is under demand from aquality end producer. A commercialisation network should garantee the profitability of the whole chain. This network is not yet fully established in 20Morocco. In an effort to improve sales of its varieties and getting some impacts for the whole value chain, INRA recently released two durum Rendement (Q/ha)wheat varieties « Faraj » Hessian fly resistant and drought tolerant with high yellow color « Luiza » high yield and extra yellow color in large 15scale production and seed increase in order to better serve milling industries and guaranty the price for producers within specific contracts.Although the millers immédiately liked the grain quality and demanded for large quantities, the production chain is lacking a commited seedproducer and a spécialized quality grain producer. There needs to be a working modern chain for quality end product. A modern value chain 10has to replace the old production consumption circle. 5Current State Policies 0The current policy of the ministry of agriculture (Green Morocco Plan, or GMP) is to encourage aggregation and organisation of production and 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010facilitate the use of inputs that would in turn, improve productivity; Certified seed is one of these factors. The GMP also aims at improvingproductivity while cutting on wheat areas in drought prone zones in order to save natural resources. Also, and within the farm aggregating (aimedat raising uniform field sizes, and investment) this new policy is using an integrated approach that takes in account all of the activities related to contribution to deviationagricultural production at the level of the farm, the community and the national market. Agregation also aime to include significant parts of thevalue chain for an optimised profitability. Genotype(G)There is a need for shifting paradigms in agricultural development and marketing. Variety development should be targeted according to industrial Location (L)(flour / semolina) mills and consumer demands in adition to farm’s production needs. Year (Y) GxLSeveral complementary steps should be followed in order to make the genetic progress get to, and impact the farmer. Cropping technology GxYshould be revisited, in the light of the recent findings of research and the light of all recent markets developments. Climate changes are and will LxYbe impacting Morocco and North Africa heavily; Climate change should be our main worry in tackling food security. GxLxY

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