Impressed by the taste of an apple, the minister of fisheries and agriculture jokingly called for a rise in prices.
Footage documenting the minister’s visit shows him jokingly telling the governor of Midelt’s province, Mustapha Nouhi, that the prices of apples are “too low.”
In the video, the president of an apple production cooperative offers the minister an apple. After tasting the apple, Akhannouch asks if it was produced locally. The cooperative’s president confirms that the apple was produced in the region of Midelt.
Impressed by the taste and quality of the apple, Akhannouch turns to Midelt’s governor, saying: “These apple prices are too low, it’s unbelievable! The prices should be higher.”
Nouhi replies: “This product is also available in large quantities, you should taste other types.”
The minister’s statement comes only a few days after the World Bank published a report about Morocco’s current socio-economic status. The report indicates that around 9 million Moroccans are living under the poverty line or at risk of poverty.
Comments on the video considered the statement as “disrespectful towards Moroccans,” taking into consideration their already poor purchasing power.
Following his visit to the event, the minister stated that apple production is a key sector in the region’s economy.
He added that apple production reaches 400,000 tonnes annually. The production was estimated at only 120,000 tonnes before the launch of Morocco’s Green Plan in 2008.
Morocco’s Green Plan is an agricultural strategy designed to make agriculture the main growth engine of the national economy. It aims to develop pluralistic agriculture that is open to foreign markets, locally diversified and sustainable.
Midelt’s National Apple Fair took place between October 10 and 13, 2019. It is an annual event giving farmers and cooperatives from different regions of Morocco an opportunity to exhibit all their apple-related products.
Midelt is known as the national capital of apples. Around 90% of Moroccan apples are produced in the Midelt region.