Drought and extreme weather have long taken a toll on the North African kingdom's growers, but the quake in Morocco is creating new challenges. "We thought hail was our worst enemy, but now we've got another," said a farmer from the mountain village of Ineghede in the worst-hit Al-Haouz region south of Marrakesh.
Days after the quake that killed more than 2,900 people, he inspected his apple and walnut trees growing on terraces carved into the Atlas Mountains. With dust-covered hands, he pointed to the trees his family has cultivated for generations and which still stand, unlike the stone and wood houses of his village. The Golden and Gala apples he had expected to harvest now laid in the grass. Because the fruit had not yet ripened, his harvest is lost, along with the profits he had hoped to use to settle his debts.