The Covid-19 pandemic has uncovered the need to redouble efforts to upgrade weekly souks, slaughterhouses and wholesale markets, said on Monday in Rabat, minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Rural Development, Water and Forests Aziz Akhannouch.
Responding to a question at the House of Representatives, Akhannouch called on local authorities to cooperate with the Ministry of Agriculture in order to modernize wholesale markets, which are of vital importance with regard to the services made for inhabitants.
He noted in this regard that the closure of livestock markets aims to preserve the health of citizens and protect the rural world against a possible spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, adding that nearly 70 markets will reopen by June 10.
The Minister also stressed that his department works in close coordination with the Interior Ministry, given his experience in dealing with these issues, to go beyond the current stage, emphasizing in this regard the progressive stability of livestock prices.
Referring to the Aid Al Adha, Akhannouch highlighted the actions of the National Office for Food Safety (ONSSA), which helped with the vaccination of 21 million sheep and 2.5 million cattle so far. Similarly, some three million head of livestock have been counted by the office, an operation that started on April 22 and which will continue until July.
The government official also indicated that the ministry in charge, in collaboration with the interior ministry, is constantly monitoring market organization and compliance with health measures to limit the spread of Covid-19, in particular the compulsory wearing of a mask and social distancing. These are prerequisites for keeping cattle markets open for Aid Al Adha, he said.