By Loubna Flah
By Loubna Flah
Morocco World News
Casablanca, April 26, 2013
Moroccan tomatoes exported to the European Union reached record levels during the two first weeks of the current month. Accordion to the Moroccan daily Al Massae, Spanish Consulting Department for Agriculture and Fisheries revealed that tomatoes imported from Morocco to the European market grew by 36% last week and 6% this week respectively in comparison with the same period last year.
The volume of tomatoes exported to the EU during the period between April 8th to 14th was estimated to 7, 864 tons, up by 18% compared to the same period last year.
Spain has always expressed discomfort towards the increase of Moroccan agricultural exports to European markets.
Spanish cooperatives and farmers associations have often submitted complaints to the Spanish authorities alleging that Moroccan farmers use more than 56 pesticides banned by the European Union which, accounts for their high productivity.
These allegations proved groundless after a due investigation conducted by European Commission.
It is noteworthy that the European Union has withdrawn the preferential tariffs usually granted to developing countries. European officials deemed unnecessary to grant customs duty reduction to “emerging” economies like Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Egypt.
Instead, more subsidies will be offered to struggling economies within the European Union to boost their agricultural output.
Spanish officials have often expressed concerns towards the competitiveness of Moroccan tomatoes. Spanish Minister for Agriculture, Food and Environmental Affairs, had declared in 2012 that Moroccan tomatoes “cause prices within the EU market to plummet” which affects directly the viability of Spanish agriculture.
Similarly, Spanish regional governments have often called on their government to conduct studies on the effects of agreements on the agriculture sector before signing any deal with third-party countries.
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