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Risk management of agricultural drought in Morocco Volume 18, issue 3, septembre 2007

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Authors
Centre régional de la recherche agronomique de Meknès, Institut national de la recherche agronomique (Inra), BP 578, Meknes 50000, Maroc, Faculté des sciences, Université de Liège, Département des sciences et gestion de l’environnement, B 6700 Arlon, Belgique

The risk of water shortage to food security in Morocco is increasing due to the dual pressure of drought and domestic and industrial demands. It must be taken into consideration in the water management of both rainfed and irrigated areas. Strategies to reduce agricultural drought risk fall into three categories: i) In irrigated agriculture, water can be saved by minimizing losses and improving water use efficiency; ii) In pasture and forest areas, evaporated water can be used by developing pasture and fruit tree ecosystems; iii) In rainfed areas, dry farming techniques consisting of improved water harvest, storage and use at farm and plot levels can increase productivity. Additional public measures such as early warning systems including seasonal forecasting and agro-meteorological prediction tools are necessary to promote investment in dry environments and provide decision making tools. The adoption of efficient water use management of rainfall and irrigation will ensure food security while making more water available for non-agricultural needs.