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  • An unusual rainfall cycle was responsible for doubling wheat imports to meet demand late last year.

    An unusual rainfall cycle was responsible for doubling wheat imports to meet demand late last year. | Photo: Reuters FILE

Last year, Morocco produced some 9.6 million tons of cereals compared to 3.35 in 2015.

Morrocco's L'Economiste is reporting a sharp fall in undernourishment based on the United Nation's State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report.

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Approximately 1.2 million Morrocans – 3.5 percent of the population – are believed to be affected by poor nutrition, according to a local media report on Sunday.

Last year, Morocco produced some 9.6 million tons of cereals compared to 3.35 in 2015, the ministry of agriculture's statement revealed. It detailed that soft wheat topped production with a 163 percent rise to reach 4.8 million ton. While, durum and barley harvested 2.5 and 2.2 tons, respectively.

An unusual rainfall cycle was responsible for doubling wheat imports to meet demand late last year.

This year's total cereal output is expected to see a 203 percent rise compared to last year

Overall, global hunger is currently on the rise, following years of steady decline. The estimated number of undernourished people worldwide has increased from 777 million in 2015 to 815 million in 2016, the report stated. The report shows that Morocco trails Egypt 4.5 percent, Algeria 4.6, Tunisia by 5 percent and Sudan by 25.6 on the undernourishment index.

Agriculture accounts for more than 15 percent of Morocco’s economy and the high harvest are expected to boost growth.

Government spokesperson, Mustapha El Khalfi, highlighted the uptick as a check mark for the agriculture industry while addressing the press following a weekly cabinet meeting on Thursday.

Citing Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Aziz Akhannoch, El Khalfi noted that the cereal was planted on 5.1 million hectares compared to 3.62 million hectares last season.

The official shared that government has made arrangements to purchase the crop from farmers.

The agriculture sector is a significant contributor to the country’s GDP – about 15 percent – which determines the economy's growth level.

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Agriculture posted 52,000 new jobs accounting for more than half of Morroco's workforce – causing the Finance Ministry to revise up its growth forecast from 4.5 percent to 4.8 percent.

But, unemployment recorded a slight growth from 9.1 percent to 9.3 percent in the first quarter despite an overall increase in job creation.

The planning agency said, while service (19,000) and construction (7,000) industries created jobs, manufacturing lost 4,000 jobs.

Morroco's economy grew by 1.6 percent in last year.

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