The cultivation of Sunflower and Rapeseed should strengthen the economic and food sovereignty of Morocco. These two cultures have 3 major advantages.
In a context of great volatility in world food markets, favored by the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, Morocco is subject to fluctuations in the market for cereals, but also for oils, given that local production does not cover than 2% of national needs.
And it is the finances of the kingdom that will be impacted and the consumer’s basket, because of this exacerbated demand in the face of a scarcer supply due to the open conflict in Eastern Europe.
Morocco has an interest in growing more rapeseed and sunflower. Indeed, it is ranked among the 10 largest importers of oil in the world. Between 2020 and 2021, no less than 77,000 tonnes of rapeseed and sunflower oil and 460,000 tonnes of rapeseed and sunflower meal were consumed in Morocco.
And the consumption of vegetable oils is still increasing in Morocco. In 10 years, the consumption of vegetable oils has increased by 26% and by 38% for oilseed cakes, used in the manufacture of feed for farmed animals, in particular that of poultry which monopolizes 90% of the total oil. compound animal feed.
“The development of oilseed crops is a priority issue for Morocco. Indeed, sunflower and rapeseed allow not only the production of vegetable oils intended for human consumption, but also the production of cakes, used for the feeding of farm animals”, indicates in a press release the initiative. Maghreb Oléagineux, initiated by Terres Univia in 2019 and co-financed by the European Union.
And if Morocco already cultivates sunflower and rapeseed, these farms cover only 2% of the total consumption needs of oils and animal feed.
By growing more oilseeds, Morocco would not only gain in food autonomy, but will not lose in terms of ecology since these crops are considered to present solutions for the future in the face of the challenges of preserving ecological balances, underlines the same source. .
Thirdly, these crops make it possible to reduce the use of phytosanitary products and improve the performance of other crops, cereals in particular.
For example, yields from a plot of wheat after a crop of rapeseed are on average 20% higher than those from wheat after wheat. In addition, it allows better management of weeds, pests and diseases.
Morocco aims to increase its oilseed crops in the years to come. The Morocco Green Plan, launched in 2008, has already made it possible to give them more importance, but the Kingdom’s new agricultural strategy entitled “Green Generation” reaffirms this desire to develop the Moroccan oilseed sector.
It aims to reach 80,000 hectares of rapeseed (30,000 Ha) and sunflower (50,000 Ha) by 2030, which will cover 15% of national market needs and create more than 170,000 jobs.