RABAT, Morocco, Aug 26 – Qatar offers Morocco, USD 136 million, to finance irrigation and pastures projects, in the desert areas in northern, central and southern parts of the Kingdom of Morocco.

The grant agreement was signed here by Qatar’s Minister of Finance, Ali Shareef Al-Emadi, on one hand, and Moroccan Minister of Economy and Finance, Mohammed Bou Said and Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Aziz Akhannouch, on the other.

Following the signing ceremony, Akhannouch said, the first project would be, to improve irrigation of 2,500 hectares, boost food security and combat poverty, through varying plantations.

The project, to be implemented in Wazzan, north-central Morocco, will also help boost farmers’ income, making the best use of natural resources, through drip irrigation, he added.

As for the second project, which costs USD 109 million, it targets the development of pastures and organising movement in a total area of 16 million hectares, in Sous-Massa Draa and Guelmim-Es Semara regions.

It aims to improve the pastoral environment of the region and living and educational conditions for the people there, about 100,000 people.

For his part, the Moroccan Minister of Economy and Finance, Mohammed Bou Said, referred to the bilateral ties as “a model partnership between two countries, which has witnessed a boom, especially in the agricultural sector.”

Today’s grant is part of Qatar’s contribution to a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) USD 5-billion donation to Morocco, over five years, Al-Emadi said.

Earlier, Moroccan Prime Minister, Abdelilah Benkirane, received Al-Emadi and both underlined the strong bilateral ties, especially on the economic level.