Greenhouse cultivation in Morocco has developed at a more rapid pace than that in Spain, especially in Almeria.
Rabat – With the help of modern satellite analysis techniques, the Andalusian Council of Agriculture obtained data which shows that Morocco’s greenhouse crop is growing rapidly than Spain’s.
The council issued its latest report which emphasized the “strong growth” of greenhouse acreage in Morocco, which increased from 9,000 hectares in 2001 to almost 24,000 hectares cultivated at the end of the last year, Spanish outlet La Voz de Almeria reported on December 10.
The greenhouse’s cultivated surface in the North African country is expected to increase to 26,000 hectares at the end of this year, says the council’s report.
The illustrated data corresponds only to the Souss-Massa-Draa region, namely the provinces of Agadir-Ida-Ou Tanane, Inezgane-Ait Melloul, Chtouka-Ait Baha, and Taroudant.
The estimates provided in the report indicated a “significantly larger area” when adding other regions known for their abundant agricultural crops such as Gharb-Chrarda-Beni Hssen in Western Morocco and Tangier-Tetouan in Northern Morocco.
The strong growth is particularly shown in the provinces of Kenitra, near Rabat, and Larache, near Tangier, where greenhouse acreage has grown from 2,975 hectares of protected crop in 2002 to more than 8,500 hectares in the previous year, up 179 percent.
Northern Morocco is the region where growth in greenhouse cultivation is the most notable, especially in areas closer to the ports that the greenhouse vegetables ship from.
According to the Spanish report, greenhouse vegetables in these areas are growing much quicker than the rest of the North African country.
Morocco is Spain’s largest non-EU fresh fruit and vegetables supplier with a total volume of 321,189 tons worth €507 million, the Spanish federation of fruit and vegetable exporters (Fepex) reported last week.
Tomatoes are the most exported agricultural products to the world, mainly to the EU. The UN Statistics Division (UNSD) ranked Morocco fourth in tomato exports in the world at 527 million kilograms in 2017, 7 percent of the world’s total.