Reliable access to sufficient and good quality water is essential to ensure decent living conditions for people, increase agricultural production and mitigate the effects of drought.
Being a direct or indirect part of 7 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, water has an inclusive dimension as a natural resource for rural development and an essential input for industrial and human consumption.
In order to achieve agricultural-led prosperity, water control in both irrigated and rain-fed agriculture must be at the center of development strategies.
The rural engineering profession has made a very significant contribution to the implementation of major irrigation and integrated development projects. In Morocco, it provided technical supervision for the achievement of the target of one million hectares irrigated in Morocco in the late 1990s.
The so-called profession assures with skill the conception, the realization of big structuring projects. These projects cover various areas including: (i) drinking water, sanitation and rural road network facilities and infrastructure, (ii) water mobilization, hydro-agricultural development, irrigation, storage and packaging for the valorization of agricultural products and the reduction of post-harvest losses in the framework of agricultural production chains implemented by the Green Morocco Plan strategy implemented in 2008. This successful strategy model is in the process of to be replicated in other countries in Africa by relying on the mechanisms of South-South cooperation set up by Morocco.
Among the many projects carried out in this field are those financed through the public-private partnership model in which Morocco is a pioneer. They concern the development and management of large irrigation schemes using water from dam reservoirs (such as the El Guerdane project already in operation) or seawater desalination plants (as the project of the perimeter of Chtouka whose commissioning will start in 2019) in southwest Morocco.
In addition to irrigated areas, sustainable management of agricultural water is also a priority in rain fed areas. The hydro agricultural development of pastoral rangelands is at the center of the concerns of rural engineering engineers. They aim to improve the living conditions of pastoralists and rural dwellers, improve productivity and protect water and soil resources.
The Moroccan inter-professional irrigation network recently established in Morocco aims to promote exchanges and technology transfer, South-South cooperation in the field of irrigation across the African continent.
Its members include professional and academic institutions that have conducted and carry out expert missions and carry out irrigation projects for both large and small and medium-sized perimeters in sub-Saharan African countries.
On behalf of the Moroccan Association of Rural Engineering Engineers and the Moroccan Interprofessional Irrigation Network, I welcome all participants to this joint conference organized by ANAFIDE and IAV Hassan II in collaboration with CIGR and Panafrican Association of Rural Engineering.
Ahmed EL BOUARI
Director of Irrigation and Development of the Agricultural Area
President of the Association of Rural Engineers- President of the Moroccan Network
Inter Professional Irrigation
Vice President of ICID