Morocco’s agriculture sector maintains a steady pace in terms of exports, moving from MAD 17.1 billion ( nearly $1.90 billion) in 2010 to MAD 40 billion last season ( nearly $4.45 billion).
Rabat – Morocco’s Minister of Agriculture Aziz Akhannouch has said the country’s exports of vegetables and fruits totaled 474,000 tonnes until January.
Akhannouch told MPs in Rabat on Monday that the exports of fruits and vegetables showed an increase of 9%, compared to the same season last year.
The increase concerned tomatoes exports and citrus fruits. The minister said Morocco’s exports of tomates totalled 260,000 tonnes by January, representing an increase of 1%.
Exports of citrus fruits until January amounted to 286,300, representing an increase of 12%.
Morocco also exported 477,800 tonnes of processed agricultural products, excluding sugar and derivatives. This area represents an increase of 12% compared to a year earlier.
Until January, Morocco’s exports of processed fruits included 69,800 tonnes of frozen strawberries, 21,000 tonnes of fruit juice and nectar, 813,300 tonnes of exports of fishing procuts.
Akahnnouch acknowledged that 2020 was a particularly challenging season for Moroccan agriculture, due to low rainfall and the state of emergency to curb the pandemic.
Despite various difficulties related to the pandemic, “Morocco has been able to maintain sufficient production rate to keep with the upward trend in exports, with productivity at reasonable levels,” Akhannouch argued.
The official also addressed the measures authorities have implemented to mitigate the economic and social repercussions of the pandemic crisis, especially for small farmers.
The measures included support and rescheduling of debts, as well as the extension of the application of the ministerial decision on state aid for drip irrigation until the end of 2021.
Akhannouch said that Morocco’s agricultural sector managed to maintain a steady pace in terms of exports, moving from MAD 17.2 billion in 2010 to early MAD 40 billion last season.
The numbers represent an increase of 130%, Akhannouch said, highlighting the efforts by producers and exporters.
The agricultural sector in Morocco contributes 19% to the country’s GDP, making it one of the key pillars to the Moroccan economy.
The number is divided between agriculture (15%) and agro-industry (4%).
According to the Moroccan government, the sector employs over 4 million people, including about 100,000 in agro-industry.