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Moroccan farmers struggle Ahead of Eid Al-Adha

Farmers selling Sheep ahead of Aid Al-Adha in Morocco   -  
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With the muslim celebration of Eid Al-Adha around the corner, Moroccan farmers were eager to sell their sheep.

A way to compensate for their losses during the pandemic, as the country's economy became paralysed during the confinement.

But Sunday evening, the Moroccan government imposed travel restrictions in 8 of the country's biggest cities, such as Casablanca, Marrakech or Tanger.

The order only 5 hours before in came into application, following a spike of COVID 19 infections, as the country saw more contaminations in the past week than it did in the past four months, according to Health Minister Khalid Ait Taleb.

But the restrictions rendered sales almost impossible for the famers. Just a day before the Muslim celebration.

A market more important than others

In difficult times, many farmers rely on selling their livestock to reduce losses and pay off debts. "We had to lower our prices in order to meet the low demand", as 34-year-old farmer Abdelaziz simply puts it.

For farmers, this time of the year is an easy time to sell their sheep, as demand is high during the Aid Al-Adha celebrations preparation.

This year was even more cruicial for farmers like Hamid. Hidden behind his sand-coloured mask, the 54 year old has been going to the Skhirat Market every year.

"The most important is to get some money after several difficults months during which we didn't have any income" say Hamid, visibly worried.

If rural areas have have reported less infections than the big cities, droughts have made it very difficult for farmers to bounce back after the confinment.

According to a study by the High Commission for Planning (HCP), in charge of official statistics, "The drop in income has impacted 70 percent of the rural population compared to 59 percent of urban dwellers". As much as 77 percent of farmers have seen their revenues fall in recent months.

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