RABAT Aug 30 (Reuters) – Morocco’s soft wheat harvest rose 30 percent to 4.17 million tonnes in 2011, reducing only marginally the country’s import needs due to the prevalence of subsistence farming.
The 2011 harvest also yielded 1.85 million tonnes of hard wheat and 2.34 million tonnes of barley, the official MAP news agency quoted the agriculture ministry as saying.
The ministry had announced that the 2010 harvest yielded 1.6 million tonnes of hard wheat and 2.6 million tonnes of barley.
Because the majority of wheat-planted areas are small properties owned by farmers who use the harvest for their own subsistence, only about a quarter of 2010 harvest went to the market, according to official statistics.
At 1.82 million tonnes, soft wheat accounted for almost all cereals produced in 2010 that went to the market and represented 57 percent of the country’s total soft wheat harvest in 2010.
With last year’s harvest of 7.46 million tonnes, Morocco ended up importing 6 million tonnes of cereals over the 12 months to mid-June, up 47 percent over the previous campaign. The figure included 3.22 million tonnes of soft wheat. (firstname.lastname@example.org; Rabat newsroom +212 537 72 86 97)