The fresh fruit and vegetable export sector has performed well during the current agricultural campaign, assured the Ministry of Agriculture, Maritime Fisheries, Rural Development and Water and Forests. The sector thus posted “pleasant” figures despite a very difficult economic situation.
During the current agricultural year, which runs from September 2021 to June 2022, citrus fruits have grown by 42% compared to last year for an exported volume of 735,400 tonnes compared to the same period of the previous campaign, the ministry said. This upward trend in growth concerned all citrus species and all destinations, specifies the ministry. In this respect, the supervisory authority tells us, the export volume of small citrus fruits reached 628,600 tonnes at the end of the current campaign, ie an increase of around 40% compared to the previous campaign.
With regard to large fruits, orange exports recorded a growth of 62% to reach a volume of around 97,200 tons. A diversified range of varieties makes up the national citrus orchard, which remains dominated by 3 groups of varieties: clementines (35%), Maroc-Late (21%) and navels (18%).
The citrus-growing area is divided mainly between five regions of the Kingdom, Souss-Massa which with its 32% (40,344 Ha) takes the lion’s share, Rabat-Salé-Kénitra 20% (25,293 Ha), Oriental 17% (21,100 Ha), Beni Mellal-Khénifra 14% (17,426 Ha), Marrakech-Safi 13% (16,518 Ha) and the other regions share the remaining 4% (6,645 ha).
The Ministry of Agriculture, Maritime Fisheries, Rural Development and Water and Forests does not hide its satisfaction with the good performance during the current season of the fresh fruit and vegetable export sector, despite a difficult international context and an agricultural campaign characterized by very unfavorable climatic conditions, further noted the guardianship. As for market garden products for export, they recorded growth of 11% in mid-June 2022, to reach a volume of around 1,418,600 tonnes.
Finally, with regard to the tomato, icon of the flagship products exported from the market gardening sector, the volume of exports reached 608,600 tonnes for the current campaign, against 521,800 tonnes during the previous campaign ended on the same date, i.e. export growth of around 17%. The tomato alone brought in Morocco during the past financial year, 7 billion dirhams, thus placing Morocco among the five countries which export the most this commodity which wants to be, fruit and vegetable at the same time. The paradox is that the Kingdom is struggling, in the top 20 of the producing countries of this fruit, far from the rank it occupies in terms of exports.
A third of the tomato production in Morocco is intended for export. It is the European Union which is the most fond of it. It imports almost 88%. Located in almost all regions of Morocco, the market gardening sector plays an important socio-economic role as well as for exports.
It is a major source of jobs with 60 million working days per year (12.2% of the agricultural sector), and a source of foreign exchange earnings with more than 12 billion DH per year (42% of agricultural exports). It ensures 100% satisfaction of the country’s needs. Early market gardening contributes 26% to market gardening production. The latter is distributed as follows: Souss-Massa: 57%, Rabat-Salé-Kénitra 17%, Casablanca-Settat 8% and Tanger-Tétouan-Al Hoceima, 5%. Early market gardening for export accounts for 15% of market gardening area.
It should be noted that the export sector of fresh fruits and vegetables during the last decade has developed strongly in particular thanks to the Green Morocco Plan (PMV) and we owe it a little to the tomato which has increased by nearly 2/ 3 was able to pull up the other fruits and vegetables.