The Moroccan countryside: the iron pot and the earth pot

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It is in the rural world that the profound transformations that have taken place since the beginning of the 20th century. are the least visible to the passing visitor.
Very often, the latter will only remember the image of the little fellah turning over a piece of land with an antique broom, even if it happens to see vast fields worked using modern machines. What exactly is it? The Moroccan countryside, which is largely dependent on physical and above all climatic constraints, is also the product of the history that shaped them. Their traditional organization, around the tribe, based on the complementarity of culture and breeding, was upset by colonization, which seized most of the best land, and called into question the methods of occupation of space. As a result, two types of farms have emerged: small properties to large estates practicing intensive cultivation.
This configuration persisted after independence. Colonization lands, which were nationalized in stages in 1959, 1963 and 1973, passed into the hands of the state and the big landowners or were distributed to small landless peasants, invited to join together in cooperatives. This redistribution was accompanied by a program to modernize land through consolidation, irrigation and electrification in order to reduce social inequalities and contain the rural exodus. Today, however, out of 1.5 million farms, 70% have less ha and represent around 2 million hectares of usable agricultural area out of a total of almost 9 million. The remaining 30% occupy three-quarters of the country’s agricultural land.
In this very marked duality, the part between the iron pot and the earthen pot is all the more unequal as the whims of the sky get involved.


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