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HM the King enquires about water saving irrigation program for Souss-Massa region for over $132 mln.

AE[macron]t Amira (Chtouka Ait Baha) - HM King Mohammed VI enquired, on Monday in the rural commune of AE[macron]t Amira (province of Chtouka AE[macron]t 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.

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Publication:Agence Maghreb Arabe Presse (MAP)
Geographic Code:6MORO
Date:Jan 10, 2011
Words:423
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