Rabat – Morocco’s fruit and vegetable exports reached approximately 1.13 million tonnes between the start of 2020 and May 17, Minister of Agriculture Aziz Akhannouch announced on Tuesday, May 26, at the House of Councillors.
The figure represents an 8% increase compared to the same period in 2019.
Tomatoes are the most exported vegetables in Morocco, with nearly 520,000 tonnes exported as of May 17, an increase of 4% compared to 2019. Citrus fruits also represent a large share of Morocco’s fruit and vegetable exports, with 476,000 tonnes.
Morocco’s watermelon exports exceeded 129,000 tonnes between January 1 and May 17, increasing by 61% between 2019 and 2020. Meanwhile, red fruit exports reached 86,000 tonnes (+25%), and avocado exports increased to 32,000 tonnes (+193%).
Akhannouch revealed that Moroccan farmers have planted sugar beets over 57,000 hectares. The number represents 96% of the area allocated for sugar crops.
As of May 22, Moroccan sugar beet farms have produced over 370,000 tonnes of fruit. The figure represents 11% of the country’s forecast production for 2020, estimated at 3.42 million tonnes, with an expected profitability of approximately 60 tonnes per hectare.
As for sugarcane, Morocco’s second-most important crop for sugar production, the crops have yielded 35,000 tonnes of products as of May 22. The ministry expects the annual production of sugarcane to reach 646,000 tonnes.
On April 17, the Ministry of Agriculture revealed that the value of Moroccan exports remains at a good level, thanks to their favorable prices in international markets.
Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak in Morocco, the ministry enforced a series of safety and health measures in agricultural production units to ensure the maintenance of regular production and export operations.
The measures include strengthening the staff hygiene systems in packaging and processing facilities, disinfecting the premises and means of transport, monitoring employees’ temperatures, providing staff with protective equipment, and respecting safe distances between personnel.