FAO-Morocco technical cooperation:

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Assistance fromemergency for‘eeradication of the cactus mealybug

Mohammed Sadiki, Secretary General of the Ministry of Agriculture, Maritime Fisheries, Rural Development and Water and Forests, chaired on Wednesday June 14, 2017 at the IAV Hassan II in Rabat, accompanied by Mr. Michael George Hage, Representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Morocco and of Mr. Ahmed BENTOUHAMI, Director General of ONSSA; the opening of the launch workshop for the project entitled Assistance fromemergency for controlothe and the fight against the Cactus Mealybug in Morocco”.

The project is part of the technical cooperation between the FAO and the National Office for Food Safety (ONSSA). Lasting one year, its main objective is the development and implementation of an integrated pest management program to eradicate this formidable scourge in Morocco and other Maghreb countries. This technical assistance focuses on the control of infestations and the strengthening of national institutional capacities and the technical capacities of all stakeholders, in particular plant protection structures and farmers, to apply appropriate phytosanitary measures and control practices. infestation and limit the spread of this devastating parasite. In his opening speech, Mr. Sadiki insisted on the socio-economic importance and the issues related to the cactus industry. He specified that the sector has benefited from a particular interest within the framework of the Green Morocco Plan. Thus, the area of ​​cactus plantations has increased from 50,000 ha in 1998 to almost 150,000 ha currently, for a target of 160,000 ha and a production of around 2 million tonnes by 2020. As soon as this scourge in certain regions of Morocco, the Department of Agriculture launched in July 2016 an emergency program to fight against this pest, including on the one hand, the strengthening of uprooting and destruction operations heavily infested cactus plantations and on the other hand, chemical treatment based on insecticide and mineral oil approved by ONSSA. This meeting aims to inform the project partners about the objectives and expected results and to discuss the strategy to be developed to eradicate this scourge. In attendance were representatives of the Department of Agriculture, industry professionals and cactus development associations.