In a bid to boost local supply and bring down tomato prices ahead of the holy month of Ramadan, Morocco has imposed quotas on exports to all foreign destinations. A decision, with immediate effect, which was taken on Sunday February 19. The period of application of this measure remains undetermined.
Taken by the government, the decision aims to lower the price of tomatoes on the national market, which in February reached prices varying between 13 to 15 dirhams per kilo, while the month of Ramadan is fast approaching.
A sacred month which precisely knows a significant consumption of tomatoes by Moroccan households and which already accuses each year, a rise in prices. Thanks to this measure, the price of tomatoes has been able to drop to between 4 and 5 dirhams per kilo in supermarkets but not at vegetable vendors where prices reach 8 dirhams per kilo.
In this direction, MoroccoLatestNews UK asked Abdelaghani Berrada, president of the general confederation of transport companies in Morocco (CGETM), who did not fail to come back to the rise in vegetable prices that our country has recently experienced, due in particular to inputs and drought, which impacted production in Morocco, the 4th largest tomato exporter in the world.
” The government took the decision to impose a vegetable export quota. The goal is to first satisfy the national market and at the same time, the international market via export, but with a quota so that farmers do not export all their harvests leaving the national market without supply.“, he indicated.
For this international transport professional, it is a good initiative that has been taken to balance the national and international market too, even if he did not deny that the imposition of a quota has impacted international carriers.
” Our fleet has been impacted, because the number of trips has dropped. But the fact remains that we remain Moroccans, and we must satisfy our country and our population before thinking abroad.” , he added.
Regarding their international customers, particularly in Europe, and the consequences of this decision on their supply, the president of the general confederation of transport companies in Morocco (CGETM) stressed that it is above all on the currency, in particular the euro.
” When we export vegetables to Europe, we have to bring back the euro. Because when you buy products from abroad, you have to pay with euros. So we are obliged to have currency. But the government is aware of this point. Reason why he intervened to establish a balance so as not to lose either the national market or the international market“, he concluded.
It should be recalled that since the imposition by Morocco of an international tomato export quota on February 19, several countries have been affected, in particular the British market. On social networks, several British citizens had shared photos of empty tomato shelves in supermarkets.
Professionals have pointed the finger at the main suppliers, which are Morocco and Spain, which have recently experienced a lack of national production, drought and other factors.