African Development Bank lends Morocco $194 million to boost cereals output

Read audio

RABAT, Sept 30 (Reuters) – The African Development Bank said on Friday it approved a 199 million-euro ($194 million) loan to help Morocco increase its cereals production and reduce imports.

The loan is part of the bank’s programme to help boost food security, nutrition and resilient farming across Africa, it said in a statement.

The worst drought in decades slashed Morocco’s cereals output by 67% to 3.4 million tonnes this year.

French grain industry organisation Intercereales said last week Morocco’s import needs of soft wheat are estimated at 5 million tonnes next year.

In the first seven months this year, Morocco’s soft wheat import bill doubled to $1.6 billion compared to the same period last year, according to foreign exchange data.

($1 = 1.0260 euros)

Reporting by Ahmed Eljechtimi; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise