The Associated Press April 24, 2012, 08:55AM ET

Morocco reports higher than expected grain harvest

Morocco's agriculture minister says the 2012 cereal harvest will be 4.8 million tons, about a million tons more than originally predicted.

Poor rains and abnormally cold temperatures stunted Morocco's grain crop this year and the ministry had originally predicted a harvest of just 3 to 4 million tons. The harvest in 2011 was 8 million tons.

Minister Aziz Akhannouch spoke Tuesday in front of an agriculture conference in the central city of Meknes.

Around 15 percent of Morocco's GDP and 40 percent of its work force is involved in agriculture.

Poor harvests automatically mean poor growth rates and the Central Bank as predicted growth will drop to below 3 percent, down from 4.9 percent in 2011.

The economy has also been hit by an economic crisis in its chief European trading partners.

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