Africa

Morocco prays for rain as shortage threatens agriculture

Moroccan youths gather to pray for rain near capital of Rabat Image copyright AFP/GETTY
Image caption The country faced a drought in 2016 that caused a major drop in food production

The king of Morocco called for all mosques in the country to pray for rain on Friday, amid a shortage threatening the country's agriculture.

King Mohammed VI had issued a royal decree asking Moroccans to "to implore the Almighty to spread his benevolent rains on the earth".

The lack of rainfall is hindering the country's seasonal cereal production.

Earlier this month 15 people were killed in stampede for food aid, as costs have risen amid shortages.

Image copyright AFP/GETTY
Image caption Morocco's cereal production saw a 70% drop amid abnormally dry weather last year

About 40% of the country works in the agricultural industry, and a drought last year left tens of thousands without work.

The Friday prayers were headed by Crown Prince Moulay El Hassan, according to local media.

Praying for rain in times of scarcity is an Islamic tradition said to date back to the Prophet Muhammad.

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