Monday, January 10, 2011

Morocco In the News: January 1 -10

Two-thirds of Morocco women face violence: study
RABAT — Nearly 63 percent of Moroccan women have been victims of violence recently and about a quarter of them have been sexually assaulted at least once in their lives, a government study said Monday.
Out of nine million women aged 18 to 64 years old, nearly six million were subjected to violent acts during the twelve months that preceded the study conducted between June 2009 and January 2010, the paper said.
According to the government survey of 8,300 women, "the most frequent and widespread form of violence was psychological."
The study defines psychological violence as "an act that consists of dominating or isolating a woman, as well as humiliating her or making her uncomfortable," and said it was inflicted on more than 48 percent of the women who were polled.
Psychological violence was most frequent among married women and those in the 18-24 age bracket, the study added.
The survey also indicated that 23 percent of women "have been sexually assaulted at one moment or another in their lives," adding that the number of victims were three times higher in urban areas than in rural regions.
Last year, the government pledged to introduce a bill in parliament "pinpointing all forms of marital violence," but it has not yet done so.
The proposed legislation would include "preventive measures", including immediately keeping the abused women away from their assailants, without waiting for the results of police and judicial investigations. Copyright © 2011 AFP.
Morocco plans new youth centres. By Naoufel Cherkaoui 05/01/11
A new programme in Morocco will see the construction of hundreds of training and recreation spaces for youth.
Morocco will build about 500 new youth centres throughout the country in the next two years, as part of a national plan to expand activities, training and other resources for young people.
"Since the beginning of 2010, we've been working on preparing for the Integrated Youth Strategy," Younes El Jouhari of the Youth and Sports Ministry said about the initiative announced December 24th.

"We're now preparing mechanisms for facilitating its implementation," he told Magharebia.
"We've already signed programme contracts with 450 youth associations," he said.
According to the ministry official, the new centres "will feature venues for partnership, employment, training, health care, as well as a space for music and an outdoor theatre".
"The projects that the Ministry of Youth plans to execute are a good initiative and will help train young people and develop their abilities," Taoufik Mghiz of Skhirat-based Basma Association for Development and Combat of Poverty told Magharebia.
"The policy of nearness that the ministry has adopted will be clearer than before, given the big number of centres that are planned, which would necessarily include a large number of trainees. All of that will be positively reflected on young people."
For Mghiz, however, "the issue of not providing free-of-charge access to these centres is still a negative point".
"I'm against the principle of not providing free-of-charge access in this regard, as we all know the economic level of many Moroccan young people," he said. "Therefore, I suggest setting the subscription fee at 10 or 20 [dirhams] only."
Mohamed Sadki, president of the University of Skhirat, agrees that the admission cost is problematic.
"The ministry's vision is difficult to be implemented on the ground. I think that these buildings will be empty at a time when the categories that are targeted in this project will be in a tough situation. Therefore, it will be difficult for them to pay the subscription fee," he told Magharebia.
"I think they should have offered financial incentives to young people so as to join these centres," he added.
For his part, Afak Association chief Mohamed Fliou finds nothing wrong with the admission fee policy for the new centres, "provided that the financial capabilities of young people are taken into consideration".
"The Integrated Youth Strategy is very positive and may cover most of the needs of young people," said Fliou, whose organisation supports youth with special needs and developmental disabilities.
In response to critics, the youth ministry's Younes El Jouhari pointed out that "existing youth centres are accessed by paying financial subscriptions, in spite of their modest level, as compared to the new centres that will be managed by associations, which will alone benefit from the revenues of these subscriptions".
"These subscriptions will be nominal and therefore affordable to young people," he added.
Moroccan writer Taia challenges homosexual taboo
By Omar Brouksy (AFP) – Dec 29, 2010
TANGIERS, Morocco — Novelist Abdellah Taia, who has won acclaim in France and readers abroad, has challenged a taboo in his native Morocco and won't back down: he is the first writer to come out as gay in a country that bans homosexuality.
For 37-year-old Taia, who has lived in Paris for the last decade, being homosexual and Muslim are not mutually exclusive. He "feels Muslim" and is from a country where Islam is the state religion.
"I am the first Moroccan writer who has spoken openly about his homosexuality, to acknowledge it, but without turning my back on the country I'm from," he said.
"My homosexuality, I already felt it from the age of 13, at school.
"But despite this, I feel Muslim. There is no incompatibility between Islam and choices of sexual identity," he told AFP on a recent visit back to Morocco.
Taia, who writes in French and has been translated into Spanish and English, emerged from obscurity to make a splash on the French literary scene with novels such as the 2005 "Le Rouge du Tarbouche" (The Red of the Fez), an autobiographical account of his life in Paris, where he moved in 1999.
In November, he was awarded the prestigious 2010 Prix Flore for young authors.
A slim, softspoken man with a timid smile, the writer was born in a working-class neighbourhood in Sale, the Moroccan capital Rabat's twin city, into a childhood marked by deep poverty.
"My father was a chaouch (messenger) at the national library in Rabat. We were nine children who lived on top of each other in two rooms," he said.
"There was nothing to eat. You had to fight to eat. We spent our days on the streets. We were barefoot." His mother, a housewife, was illiterate.
After studying French literature at university in Morocco, Taia, then 26, moved to Paris, pursuing a doctorate at the Sorbonne and writing his first novels.
"Le Rouge du Tarbouche" describes his "dream of writing" in Paris, "a city that doesn't lift you up if you fall". The book, his second, was also the first to mention his homosexuality.
Notoriety back home came two years later, in 2007, when Taia openly proclaimed his homosexuality in a frank interview with TelQuel, an independent Moroccan weekly known to take a critical line towards the government.
The writer quickly came under fire from part of the press and from Islamic circles in Morocco, where homosexuality -- as in most Arab states -- is considered a criminal offence.
In Morocco, it is punishable by six months to three years in prison but like liquor and wine consumption -- proscribed for Muslims under Moroccan law -- is tolerated provided practitioners don't flaunt their difference.
"For me homosexuality is not a cause, but a personal freedom. It is normal that I defend homosexuals because they are oppressed individuals," Taia told AFP.
Despite the scandal, Taia continues to spend much time in Morocco, where "obviously the fact that I am a writer published by big French houses protects me" from being persecuted for his sexual orientation.
Taia said he is "very attached to Morocco" and that "despite everything, I feel here like everybody else. I come from the same world."
He also feels the country is slowly changing and becoming more tolerant of differences.
"Despite some regression in Morocco, over the last 10 years there have been extraordinary things in terms of declarations of personal freedoms by many parts of Moroccan society," he said.
For Taia, the vocal conservatives who often dominate debate in the Islamic world are not a true reflection of how most Muslims feel.
"These trends, which are in the minority, are the result of the failure of social policy in the Arab world," he said.
"What interests me is the overwhelming majority, people who are simply Muslims and to whom I feel I belong." Copyright © 2011 AFP. All rights reserved
RCA undetaking urgent relief operation in Morocco.
Jan 3, 2011 - 04:53 -
WAM Abu Dhabi, 3rd Jan. 2011 (WAM) -- The UAE Red Crescent Authority (RCA) is carrying out a massive humanitarian programme to deliver basic food and shelter supplies to population affected by floods that swept some parts of Morocco recently.

The RCA is coordinating with the UAE Embassy in Rabat to ensure delivery of best relief services so as to improve humanitarian conditions of the flood-victims.

A RCA team will leave for Morocco tomorrow to oversee distribution of assistance, purchased from the local market, to the regions most hit by the floods.

The RCA has received a humanitarian appeal from its Moroccan counterpart for assisting 11 provinces affected by floods and where tens of people were killed and about 15000 families left homeless in a severe humanitarian condition accompanied by cool winter.

A group of the RCA aid workers are currently on the ground to assess the most needed relief items so as to be secured urgently.

So far, the RCA has undertaken humanitarian and relief programmes in tune of Dh 13.6 million in Morocco.
Contraband medicines: risky solution for impoverished Moroccans. By Siham Ali for Magharebia in Rabat 2010-12-28
Despite the danger, some Moroccans resort to buying their medicine on the black market to save money.

Many Moroccans buy medicine sold outside the legal market, but doing so carries a risk. With lower prices than the drugs sold in pharmacies, the drugs are a tempting alternative for people with tight budgets.
"For as long as the prices of medicines in Morocco stay high and access to healthcare remains low, Morocco will be unable to end the phenomenon, which is harming Moroccans' health despite inspections and occasional seizures of large quantities of contraband and counterfeit medicines," said economist Mohamed Jouadri.
The government is caught in "its own trap, since the prices of drugs are high whereas other, similar countries have lower prices," MP Lahcen Daoudi told Magharebia. "It is only logical that people whose purchasing power is very limited will resort to the black market, where products are sold at very low prices, despite the dangers involved. The ball is in the government's court."
Mohamed T. said he has often bought medicines sold by traders in small shops or laid out on the ground.
"I've already bought baby milk, antibiotics, tablets and stomach syrups. But I stopped the day when my son nearly died because of an out-of-date bottle of Ventolin that I had bought for 30 dirhams, when it was being sold for more than 50 dirhams at the pharmacy," he told Magharebia.
All medicines produced in Morocco, and all those imported legally, comply with regulations, according to the Health Ministry. The National Laboratory for the Examination of Medicines carries out the necessary analyses to ensure that drugs meet the requirements as regards to their quality and use.
Health Minister Yasmina Baddou told parliament on November 24th that the fraud prevention departments within the Agriculture Ministry and the Internal Affairs Ministry were stepping up inspections at locations where these drugs are sold. She called on the public to avoid buying these products, which carry health risks.
The way to stop drugs being sold outside the legal market is to raise the public's awareness of the associated health dangers and for the government to promote generic medicines in order to lower their prices, Senator Mohamed Ansari said.
The issue is of marginal importance in Morocco as the authorities conduct regular checks, according to Ali Sedrati, President of the Moroccan Pharmaceutical Industry Association.
"A certain quantity passed via the border between Morocco and Algeria. That would represent a proportion of 5%. The state mechanism that combats fraud is very effective," Sedrati told Magharebia. "As for the prices in Morocco, they are not expensive. There are generic products that are sold very cheaply."
Baddou claims her ministry is trying to lower the cost of pharmaceuticals by promoting generic drugs, reviewing pricing policies, and establishing a medicines agency. The minister claimed that these initial steps lowered the price of treatment for some chronic diseases such as cancer and hepatitis.

Thursday, 30 December 2010 22:27
Morocco (Rabat) - Morocco's economy achieved a growth rate of 3% in the third quarter of 2010 versus 4.9% a year earlier, the High Planning Commission (HCP) said.

Figures issued by the Commission shows that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased by 3.4% compared to the same period in 2009, which means a 0.4% rise in prices.

It said that the non-agricultural GDP augmented by 4.7% instead of 1.5% a year before, while the agricultural value added decreased by 8.4%, against an increase of 29.4% in the third quarter of 2009.

Except the fisheries sector which witnessed a downturn of 1.4% against an increase of 14.4%, all non-agricultural activity sectors delivered good performances, notably the mining sector which grew by 21.7% versus a drop of 21.9% last year. (MAP)

Global Arab Network

ZOUHAIR BAGHOUGH   Wednesday, 05 January 2011

New York  / Morocco Board News    Never wondered why the Moroccan economy never took off above a certain level of GDP growth?
Historically, the average real GDP growth per capita over the last 60 years was 5.51%, which is the nominal growth rate Morocco is experimenting for the last 5 years. A good figure, when compared to the average growth countries like the US was experiencing over a longer time series. Then again, it has been proven that poorer countries ten d to have a faster growth -at least in terms of capital productivity- due to their lower initial capital stock.
This however, does not give much information about how the economy is doing compared to its potential. And the figures I display below show that our  economic potential has been systematically underused, and even the current trend shows that we are weakly catching up with the potential growth. 
First, why focus on growth rate? Because, among others, growth is wealth creation, it means additional income for Moroccan agents , albeit in unequal fashion, it also means lower unemployment -although with unsubstantial results. Since we are not set on immediate institutional reforms getting better wealth redistribution, it is better to start on getting growth, and not only so: growth that gets the best out of potential GDP, so as to trigger these much needed structural reforms. Let me clear up this statement: the idea is that for the time being, our growth is erratic, because of the volatility of its origin, either due to seasonality issues, or because of their inherent weaknesses, like our exports. On the other hand, if growth was based on healthy economic dealing, i.e. on an economy that does not rely on rent, or speculation, or private monopolies to that matter, then not only structural and institutional reforms would have good basis to be implemented, but also, the urge for reform would be such that the incumbent policy makers would feel compelled to get them on tracks.
The idea of measuring our GDP potential growth gives a fair assessment of how good the economy is doing with respect to its level of inputs. Why so? Because, following the results, Morocco needs to be either on that level of output, or indeed any possibility that would not lead to a negative gap, deemed to destroy part of the capital stock. Potential GDP is the possible result that could have been obtained if workforce was at full employment, as well as capital stock used at maximum capacity with respect to the frontier of output production function (that is, in microeconomic setting, a production function). For purposes of simplifications -without loosing much sense of proportion- the Cobb-Douglas function does just fine (in facts, it is quite reasonable to use it, as indeed the HCP papers did consider the function as a realist proxy for output production.
It has also been assumed that for this Cobb Douglas , labour contribution is 2/3 and capital 1/3 (these are the parameters β and α). The levels of Capital and Labour are computed as the optimized GDP per labour, and the return of investment per GDP (meaning that FDIs were included as well). Numbers of such long time series are extracted from the U-Penn table, and have the benefit of being expressed in real terms.

Output gap (red line) and raw cumulated output gap (white line) over the last half a century. the Moroccan economy is barely touching the potential output these last years, a handicap due to that fact that output gap has been substantial for the last two decades.
Now that the potential GDP has been computed (and roughly estimated) it is quite puzzling to note that for all these many years, our GDP has been lagging behind its potential. En in the instances when the gap was positive, it was purely artificial, or short-lived. And on the other hand, it is worth pointing out that the cumulative gap had indeed deepened, especially right from the 1990′s, at a time when the under-used assets (among which, the dams the late King Hassan II was so proud of) needed to be replaced, or their high depreciation rate to be financed. This is nothing compared to the important investments that need to be undertaken for Morocco’s capital stock, as global trade and racing technological innovation compel us to do so. The fact that the Moroccan economy sustained a volatile, mostly negative output gap shows that the short term blunders the successive governments and policy-makers are guilty of, became gradually structural weaknesses. It is not only high time to address these handicaps, but it is going to be painful, long and unpopular with large scores of the Moroccan societies, not only vested interests.
What is quite strange is that institutions like Bank Al Maghrib do not take that into account in their reports. The output gap does not seem to be of prime interest (as far as the monetary policy is concerned) and it does not appear on the official reports. This casts great doubts on how relevant the policy is carried out. Next piece will deal with how relevant output gap is to the monetary policy.

Friday, 07 January 2011
Morocco (Rabat) - Over 50 billion dirhams ($5.8 billion) were mobilized by the government over 2008-2010 to develop rural areas, State Secretary in charge of territorial development, Abdeslam Al Mesbahi, said on Wednesday.

Mesbahi told representatives that the development of rural areas is a state priority.

He pointed out that the Housing Ministry devoted the same programmes implemented in urban centers to rural areas, relating notably to housing, urban development and the fight against substandard housing.

These efforts add to rural development programmes, part of a national comprehensive strategy based on the Rural Development Fund, he said.

Mesbahi also highlighted the programmes and projects implemented within the framework of the National Initiative for Human Development (INDH) in rural areas, and mountainous regions in particular, saying that a “quantitative leap” was witnessed in these regions with the launch of the national strategy to develop mountainous areas. (MAP)

Friday, 07 January 2011
Washington - Morocco is on its way to exceeding the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on water supply and sanitation, the World Bank said in a document.

Between 2005 and 2009, public spending for water supply and sanitation infrastructure programs in the rural and urban areas rose from 5 to 25% of the overall public expenditure for water, it noted.

Thanks to speeding up water supply programs in the rural zone, the rate of access to drinking water jumped from 50% in 2004 to 87% in 2009, the same source added.

The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) collaborated with Morocco on several reforms aimed at solving the country's problems related to the management of water resources, the Bank recalled. (MAP)

Global Arab Network
Moroccan association among top five associations in UK
London - Moroccan association "Al-Hassaniya Moroccan Women's Center", which assists Moroccan women in the United Kingdom, was chosen, by the Guardian Media Group, as one of the five best charity associations in the UK in 2010.
    The center, which is based in London, was awarded the award for its relentless efforts in assisting vulnerable people, notably women in difficult circumstances.
    The Guardian Charity Awards are given to innovative associations which make a difference in their field.
    Besides the financial grant, winner associations are also awarded an assistance package and are granted access to training programs.
Charity run doctor is halfway to destination in Morocco.
Stephen Naysmith 28 Dec 2010
A Scots doctor has passed the halfway point in a record- breaking attempt to run from Scotland to the Sahara Desert.
Dr Andrew Murray aims to run more than 2650 miles in just 85 days without a break, to raise cash for poverty relief in Mongolia. The trip should also land him in the Guinness book of records for the largest number of consecutive ultramarathon runs.
He has so far managed 50 successive ultramarathons – any run longer than 26 miles – in 50 consecutive days.
And the 30-year-old hopes to return to Edinburgh before February to marry his fiancee Jennie Reeves, 31, who is finalising plans for their wedding.
Dr Murray set off from John O’ Groats on November 8 and has so far run more than 1300 miles, at an average of 32.9 miles a day, much of it wearing a kilt.
He survived the Scottish leg on a diet of Weetabix, bananas, bacon rolls and jelly babies, while sustaining himself on pain au chocolat through France.
Battling snow and sleet as well as injury problems on his journey, he recently passed the halfway point by heading over the foothills of the Pyrenees into Spain near Pamplona.
Now the medic, who worked in Hawick and Galashiels until recently, is heading south towards the coast where he will cross to Africa. He aims to finish in the Sahara Desert in Morocco on January 31.
Dr Murray said: “The challenge has been fantastic so far. I’m absolutely delighted to have reached Spain and to have raised £36,000.
“I’m having to eat enough calories for two-and-a-half men. The physical challenge has been relentlessly difficult. I haven’t been injury free and have had plenty of problems with my Achilles tendons and iliotibial band, but both are common running injuries and improving.”
Running clubs and supporters have joined him on portions of his route, and Dr Murray said: “The support I’ve had from people en route has been incredible. I can’t thank them enough.”
Dr Murray hopes to raise £100,000 for the Yamaa Trust, a charity that works to alleviate poverty in the South Gobi region of Mongolia.
He volunteered with the charity as a medical adviser and hopes to raise the money to help fund a school for the deaf, essential medical treatments and facilities for people in outlying rural settlements, support for underprivileged children and orphans in the area and services for people with mental health problems.
Dr Murray has already won ultramarathon races in the Sahara, the Arctic and the Gobi Desert, and has completed the world’s highest marathon at Mount Everest.
He won a 215km race in the Indonesian jungle just prior to embarking on his charity trip, and has worked providing medical cover on extreme events in locations from the Canadian Arctic to Outer Mongolia.
He also runs his own small company, Marathon Medical Services, which provides medical backup for races and expeditions in the UK and abroad.
He is due to marry his fiancee at the beginning of February and intends to celebrate his impending nuptials with a traditional stag do when he travels home.
Ms Reeves’ attempts to fly out to meet him prior to Christmas looked like being thwarted by the weather, but the pair were ultimately reunited in Spain for Christmas Day.
For information to sponsor Dr Murray please contact:
UPDATE 1-Morocco Q3 GDP growth slows y/y on poor harvest
Fri Dec 31, 2010
Growth at 3 pct; same as Q2, down from 4.9 pct in Q3 2009
* Govt forecast 5 pct in 2011; expects 4 pct this year
RABAT, Dec 31 (Reuters) - Morocco's economy grew 3 percent year on year in the third quarter, data showed, slowing from the same period of 2009 due to a poor harvest as the government forecast it would speed up again in 2011.
The pace of expansion was unchanged from the second quarter and below the year-earlier 4.9 percent, the government's High Planning Commission (HCP) said.
The government expects growth of 4 percent in 2010 as a whole and projected 5 percent for 2011, when it said government investments would rise by 3 percent.
Bad weather slashed this year's cereals harvest, which falls in the third quarter, to 7.46 million tonnes from last year's record 10.2 million. Overall the agricultural sector, which accounts for about 15 percent of gross domestic product, declined by 8.4 percent. [ID:nLDE6801AH]
Agricultural output swings sharply in Morocco because of a reliance on fluctuating rainfalls.
Higher food costs pushed year-on-year inflation to 2.6 percent in November, exceeding for the first time the government's 2 percent forecast for 2010. [ID:nLDE6BJ182]
Third quarter growth in all other sectors except trade topped year earlier levels. Tourism grew by 8.4 percent while manufacturing added 2.7 percent.
The global economic slowdown has dampened Morocco's drive to create more jobs, especially in the manufacturing sector, after a drop in European demand for textiles made in Morocco.
(Reporting by Zakia Abdennebi, editing by John Stonestreet)

Reforming the Municipal Solid Waste Sector in Morocco.
Sunday, December 26, 2010: Staff infoZine
The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved today a loan in the amount of USD138.6 million for the Morocco Second Municipal Solid Waste Sector Development project
Washington, D.C. - infoZine - Building on a solid partnership over the past five years between the Government of Morocco and the World Bank aiming at reforming the solid waste sector, this project is the second in a programmatic series designed to provide financial support and to strengthen and sustain the impact of the municipal solid waste reform program in Morocco. The Government’s overarching program consists of three main strategic reform areas:
                enhance the governance of the sector;
                improve the sustainability of municipal solid waste services; and
                mainstream environmental and social dimensions.

“The reform program supported by this project aims at improving service delivery to citizens in this important sector, and promotes sustainable development in a changing climate. More specifically, It support Morocco’s efforts to improve the economic, environmental, and social performance of municipal solid waste systems”, noted Simon Gray, Country Director of the Maghreb Department.

The first project, approved in March 2009, supported the key foundations of the Government’s reform program, which established the enabling environment for an integrated and affordable municipal solid waste system. This second project supports Morocco’s efforts to capitalize on the results and the conducive environment created during the first project while deepening and consolidating the reforms at the regional and municipal levels.

Jaafar Friaa, Lead Urban Specialist in charge of this program said: “This project will help Morocco achieve better quality and access to municipal solid waste collection services for more than 90% of the urban population. In addition, it will ensure that 100% of collected waste in urban areas is disposed of in sanitary landfills, and will support the closure and/or rehabilitation of 300 open dumps and the sorting of 20% of recyclable materials”. “The program will also contribute to the upgrade of the existing Environmental Impact Assessment system and support municipalities in accessing the carbon market and contributing to the climate change mitigation agenda”, Jaafar Friaa added.

This program is consistent with the Morocco Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) and contributes to improving the sector governance through the promotion of productive relationships among the national and local agencies by building sustainable systems of incentives and support.
HM the King enquires about water saving irrigation program for Souss-Massa region for over $132 mln
Aït Amira (Chtouka Ait Baha) - HM King Mohammed VI enquired, on Monday in the rural commune of Aït Amira (province of Chtouka Aït Baha), about the water saving irrigation program for the Souss-Massa region for around 1.14 billion dirhams (132.4 million dollars).
- The Sovereign gets informed of the progress of the meteorological station network for the management of citrus fruit orchards' irrigation, for an amount of 10 million dirhams.
- HM the King visits an experimental farm that uses water saving modern technology.
- Investments totaling 10.6 billion dirhams for the Souss-Massa-Draa region as part of the Green Morocco Plan.
     The Monarch was given details on this large-scale project benefitting 6,000 farmers and consisting in replacing traditional irrigation systems with localized drip irrigation on a surface area of 26,700 hectares, and modernizing water and agricultural equipment on 3,300 hectares.
   The program, which started in 2009 and will run until 2013 as part of the Green Morocco Plan, involves the provinces of Chtouka Ait Baha and Taroudant and the prefectures of Inzegane Ait Melloul and Agadir Ida outanane.
    The project will contribute to developing modern agriculture while encouraging rational and sustainable management of water resources. It will increase irrigation efficiency from 50 to 95%, and promote vegetables, citrus fruits and olives yearly production.
    This regional program banks on saving a 45 million cubic meters, which is the equivalent of the reservoir capacity of Al-Mokhtar Soussi dam.
    The Sovereign was informed of the progress of the meteorological station network for the management of citrus fruit orchards’ irrigation in the Souss-Massa-Draa region, for an amount of 10 million dirhams.
     This system collects and broadcasts climate data on the internet and via SMS for the benefit of 3,600 farmers.
    It provided for building a 35-meteorological station network, including fifteen already set up, as well as purchasing computer equipment necessary for data processing.
    The project, which spans 33,000 hectares of citrus fruit orchards, seeks to optimize the use of water.
     HM the King visited a 235 hectare-experimental farm which uses water saving modern technology and has an innovative system of drainage water re-use. This technique enables recovering 40% of irrigation water compared to drip irrigation and saving a yearly 2,000 cubic meters per hectare.    
   The Souss-Massa-Draa regional agricultural plan provides for investments totaling 10.6 billion dirhams for the sector’s promotion as part of the Green Morocco Plan.       
WB says Morocco on way to exceeding MDGs on water supply
Washington - Morocco is on its way to exceeding the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on water supply and sanitation, the World Bank said in a document.
    Between 2005 and 2009, public spending for water supply and sanitation infrastructure programs in the rural and urban areas rose from 5 to 25% of the overall public expenditure for water, it noted.
    Thanks to speeding up water supply programs in the rural zone, the rate of access to drinking water jumped from 50% in 2004 to 87% in 2009, the same source added.
    The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) collaborated with Morocco on several reforms aimed at solving the country's problems related to the management of water resources, the Bank recalled.

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