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Agriculture du Magherb / Fruit Logistica 2017 P. 1


Agriculture du Magherb / Fruit Logistica 2017 P. 2


EDITIONS AGRICOLES

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Publication Director Abdelhakim MOJTAHID Chief Editor Abdelhakim MOJTAHID Our Journalists Abdelmoumen Guennouni Hind ELOUAFI

Subscription Khadija EL ADLI Graphic Designer Yassine NASSIF Print PIPO

Tous droits de reproduction autorisés avec mention impérative et complète du journal.

Summary

Morrocco

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Fruit Logistica

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Agricultural investment programs boost production Successful Moroccan participation

- Morocco, a long tradition in citrus fruit growing

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Constantly Evolving Sector

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Morocco’s citrus production and exports on the rise

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Berkane’s clementine

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Number 1 ambassador of Moroccan citrus

Tomato P. 22 Morocco´s agricultural export hit

Moroccan berries on UK mission Organic Agriculture development in Morocco

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Advertisers AGRIDATA AGRISOUSS AGRUMAR AMCEF APEFEL APNM BELECO BL AGRI

41 20-21 11 31 25 2 37 26

DELASSUS 44 EL BOURA 13 FRESH FRUIT 9 FRUIT LOGISTICA 35 GAT-TRANSIT 27 Groupe AT-TRANS 33 GAUTIER Seeds 29 Guanter Rodriguez 34

KANTARI Groupe MATYSHA-LYMOUNA MATYSHA-LYMOUNA MEDFEL Expo NOVAKOR SJL Group SORMAF

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Agricultural investment programs boost production Representing one of Morocco’s largest GDP contributors, and responsible for approximately 4m jobs, the agricultural sector has long been a major driver for export revenues, job creation and rural development in the kingdom. However, Morocco’s agricultural sector is now also increasingly serving as a platform for value creation, manufacturing and social development. Morocco is the gateway to Europe and at the same time to Africa. This ideal geographical position makes the kingdom an important export platform to the European countries, the U.S. East coast and a lot of other markets, as for instance Russia. With their contribution to the country’s food security, growth, employment and external exchanges, agriculture and agri-food industry constitute key sectors for the Moroccan economy. Agriculture and food industry represent respectively 15.5% and 5.5% of the nominal GDP. Similarly and even below their potential, these sectors also contribute to the improvement of the external exchanges. These sectors, which benefit from a particular attention of the public authorities embodied mainly in the Moroccan Green Plan (promotion of high added value agricultural sectors, aggregation allowing small business to access exports’ market...), have various hidden opportunities for export development related mainly to sustained growth of the world demand, geographical proximity of the European and African markets, conclusion of a plenty of free-exchange agreements and trade agreements with partner countries... The performances of the agri-food exports during the last years prove the strong potential for development which needs to be boosted by an ideal exploitation of the undeniable comparative advantages granted to

this sector. The problem of the upstream of the agri-food sector, which used to present one of the major constraints of the sector, is now being lifted with the implementation of the Moroccan Green Plan that gradually starts its cruise phase. In this context, the performance of the agri-food sector in exports faces, with regard to the structural change of the agricultural upstream, some challenges related mainly to the necessity - of a larger diversification of the product/ market couple in exports, - a better boosting of the expanding agricultural production which promises good perspectives with, mainly, the implementation of Agropoles, - and a stronger responsiveness face the merciless rivalry of the Mediterranean countries in particular. Morocco’s agricultural sector is the largest in the region in terms of arable and irrigated land. A rich know-how, a temperate climate, quality and an allocation of water resources favor agriculture, and the very long growing season allows Morocco to produce a wide variety of vegetables and fruits. Fresh fruits and vegetables belong to Morocco’s top

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five export categories which represent one fourth of all Moroccan exports. The Kingdom can offer a wide variety of products that are exported and recognized for their quality in all continents. During the last years, the Moroccan exports of fresh agri-food products were highly concentrated on the European continent (including Russia). Per country, France was at the top, followed by Russia, Spain and Netherlands. Huge opportunities are also to cease in high potential markets, particularly at the level of Arab countries of the Middle East and in the African market as well.

The Strengths of the Sector

- Morocco, a platform for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, enjoys an ideal geographical location which makes of it an export platform for the EU market, the U.S. East Coast and other markets. - Morocco also enjoys a quality image abroad and has strong ability to differentiate its products. - The agricultural sector comes at the forefront of the national development priorities


because of the role it plays in the economic and social fabric of the country; the Green Morocco Plan is proof. - The eating and organoleptic quality of citrus and vegetables. - The diversity of products: varieties of oranges, berries, tomatoes, vegetables... - Crops are used to feed the country’s exports and offer significant opportunities for the local food industry. - Soil resources - The citrus sector development prospects aim at tripling the volume of production (3 million T/year) and doubling the exports (1.3 million T/year) in 2020 by setting a contractual program aiming at restructuring the citrus sector in Morocco. The preferential access that Morocco has to some markets (EU, USA, EFTA, Quad, etc.) to obtain several agricultural and agro-industrial products of interest for its local market.

Planning Ahead

The Green Morocco Plan (Plan Maroc Vert, PMV), launched in 2008 to run through 2020, is the kingdom’s strategic agricultural policy. Its objective is to make agriculture the main driver of growth over the next years by accelerating development of modern and competitive agriculture. The plan is centered around two main pillars. The first aims to boost productivity and sector profitability, while the second looks to improve smallholders’ earnings through agricultural development to help alleviate poverty in rural and disadvantaged parts of the country. The kingdom has also launched a number of large-scale projects since the introduction of the PMV, with the objective of modernising production methods through efficient irrigation and enhanced mechanisation, for instance, as well as raising value added, particularly through the development of high-potential crops and agribusiness. However, one of the more crucial components – particularly in terms of improving productivity and rural devel-

opment – has been a focus on aggregation and closer public-private collaboration, notably through the creation of a number of segment-specific trade committees, broadly known as “interprofession”. So far, 18 committees, representing key segments have been formed. A number of these groups have secured contract programmes – government-backed contracts – to develop their activities. These committees, composed of multiple sector professionals, work alongside the government in carrying out its plans for each segment, and also act as a go-between with sector operators, examining their needs and seeking solutions to meet demands. Irrigation A major component underlying the increase in volume and productivity, and the reduction in volatility, is the expansion of irrigated land in the country. Almost half of agricultural GDP growth since the launch of the PMV was realised within irrigated areas. If we exclude the rainfall factor, 97% of the value added created was achieved within these irrigated areas thanks to the introduction of modern techniques such as drip irrigation. Irrigation is part of a large-scale development project policy initiated under the PMV. By end-2014, some 400,000 ha had been equipped with modern drip irrigation systems under the 10-year National Irrigation Water Saving Program, which was devised to enhance water resource management, modernise irrigation infrastructure and promote sustainable usage. The program’s target is to reach 550,000 ha by 2020, although this goal is likely to be achieved by 2017 if the country fulfils its plans to equip an additional 50,000 ha a year. Irrigation projects have received considerable public investment under the PMV, with around 30% of the ministry’s budget being funnelled into the system. Nevertheless, irrigated land in Morocco is estimated at just 19% of total agricultural land. The need to continue increasing areas under irrigation is therefore a pressing matter for the country to secure its ambitious plans under the PMV to boost production as well as promote

sustainable usage of the country’s water resources. Land & Credit Expanding output and crop varieties has also benefitted from the government’s policy to lease state-owned land. Up to 120,000 ha of land have been allocated since the launch of the PMV to be developed in the form of public-private partnerships (PPPs). Known as “PPP foncier” or land PPPs, this strategy forms part of the government’s move to gradually withdraw from agricultural activity, and cede production to private investors. Additional allotments are expected to be offered in the years to come. Accessing land in Morocco has been a particular challenge for smallholder farmers. Indeed, reluctance on behalf of financial institutions to grant credit for agricultural projects was largely impeded by land ownership issues as well as farm fragmentation. In Morocco, more than 70% of farmers operate on exploitations of less than 5 ha. To address this issue, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, in collaboration with Crédit Agricole launched, “Tamwil El Fellah”, (Arabic for “financing the farmer”) in 2010 to aid smallscale farmers. Fresh Produce For the most part, output is commercialised on the domestic market for both direct consumption and food processing, although the latter absorbs just a modest share. Fruit and vegetables comprise around 95% of fresh produce sold abroad, with the country also exporting processed fruit and vegetables as well as fresh and processed seafood. Europe (including Russia) is Morocco’s main trade partner, absorbing 91.5% of exported fresh goods between 2007 and 2014. Key export crops include tomatoes and citrus fruits. Given its historical ties with the EU, the market was particularly shaken by the bloc’s decision in April 2014 to impose a new entry price system on all imported fruits and vegetables, but a compromise reached that June for some crops spared the market further disruption.

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Fruit Logistica

Successful Moroccan participation Taking place February 08-10, Fruit Logistica will offer its usual blend of industry-leading exhibitors, networking opportunities, innovative products and services and topical conference sessions. Those involved in fresh produce industry from across the entire supply chain will once again have the opportunity to meet suppliers from all over the world and order the products best suited to their customers. Every year, more than 60,000 trade visitors attend Fruit Logistica (last year 70,000 visitors from 130 countries). Moroccan exhibitors see it as the ideal place to establish and build the personal trust which is so essential for dealing successfully in perishable products such as fresh fruit and vegetables. Hence, Moroccan exporters exhibit for the seventeenth time their fresh produce over a large surface area expanded every year (100 sqm in 2000, more than 1000 sqm in 2017). Fruits and vegetables from Morocco are highly appreciated by distribution networks all over the world and needless to say by their clients. This is rather evident if we consider the quality of the production thanks to a rigorous management of crops and packing units and a total respect of all international standards.

International export promotion is an uninterrupted task and Morocco must be present in all events dedicated to international trade to promote its flagship products including fruits and vegetables, communicate on its production quality potential and establish professional contacts with importers from across the world. In this context comes the 17th participation of Morocco Fruit Logistica in Berlin. Over forty producers, exporters, and professional associations plan to exhibit on a surface of

1,000 sqm a wide range of fruits and vegetables produced throughout the Kingdom (citrus, different varieties of tomatoes, various vegetables, red fruits, melon, grapes, apples, avocados, mangoes, truffles...). Fruit Logistica is the ideal place to forge personal bonds of trust, a must-have tool in fresh produce industry.

Satisfying exhibitors and visitors Morocco’s participation in Fruit Logistica is important not only to con-

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solidate relations with traditional customers, but also to build new partnerships. “Fruit Logistica is a real showcase for our products. It gives us the chance to meet our customers from all over the world for three days and make our plans for the whole year. This helps us avoid making long trips and, hence, saves us time and money”, an exhibitor explains. “We are also here to try to identify current trends in consumer behavior in order to adapt our business strategies and, of course, to see what is happening


with our competitors”, another exhibitor adds. For some exporters, meeting rooms are never empty during the three days of the event, thanks to pre-arranged appointments. Others take advantage of their participation to promote their new products or launch new ones. The last edition of Fruit Logistica was an opportunity for Domaines Export, a fruit and vegetable exporting subsidiary of Domaines Agricoles Group, to introduce their new products, namely three “Saveur de l’année” (Flavour of the Year) 2016-certified products. In fact, three products were chosen by a consumer panel for their shape and taste, namely: Afourer mandarins (for the 7th time), cantaloupe (for the 4th time) and cherry tomatoes (for the 3rd time). For this occasion, the head of Monadia, the first independent European quality and consumer center, personally handed the trophies during the award ceremony in Berlin that was attended by the Group’s partners and the international press. On a large nicely decorated and alive stand, Morocco’s Nadorcott producers association (APNM) also took advantage of its participation in the fair to launch the new label “Morocco Nadorcott Seedless” guaranteeing the best of the late-season small fruits produced in their home soil. This new interna-

tionally recognized label reflects the natural and premium aspect of theses fruits and guarantees the world wide uniqueness of this mandarin. For this purpose, a far-reaching communication plan was developed by APNM to make this label synonymous with demand, quality and trust. It is worth noting that APNM’s main mission is to preserve, protect and develop Nadorcott mandarins in Morocco and promote its export. As for the many Moroccan visitors who attend the fair, they are unan-

Agriculture du Maghreb

imous in praising the range of the fair’s offer and the quality of business contacts. Their focus goes primarily to fresh fruits and vegetables, but also to seeds, crop protection, packaging, packing machines and of course: the innovations of the year that are the subject of the annual Fruit Logistica Innovation Award, which rewards new products and services achieving real revolutions in the fresh produce sector.

and their brands and allow international trade professionals to have an idea of the opportunities offered by our country.

Media support for exporters With fidelity to its mission and role, the Agriculture du Maghreb magazine is once again present in Fruit Logistica to support Moroccan exports and agriculture in general. On this occasion, a free special edition is published in English for all professional visitors of the Moroccan pavilion. This issue aims to provide professionals with an overview of Morocco’s diversified and high quality export offer. It also introduces visuals of exporters’ products to highlight their strengths

The many visitors of the Agriculture du Maghreb magazine will find the information they are seeking and the answers to the questions they have. These questions generally concern the products that Morocco exports, agendas and export companies able to ensure proper delivery of these products… etc. Agriculture du Maghreb hopes to fulfill its role of supporter and unconditional objective spokesman of Moroccan agriculture.

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A long tradition in citrus fruit growing Morocco has a long tradition in producing a wide range of different citrus varieties. Citrus fruits landed on Moroccan soil in the 7th century. The mild climate was ideal for growing this type of fruit. But the real development of the citrus industry goes back to the beginning of last century, when French growers created large orchards. Today, Morocco grows over a dozen varieties produced in different regions of the kingdom.

Souss, 28 in the center and the Eastern regions. An important effort has been made in packing infrastructures, with a large number of facilities which adopted the quality management and certification systems required by European importers and supermarket chains. Morocco exports to 30 different countries, mainly Russia (50%) and the European Union (28%), followed by Canada, The US market as well as the Gulf region. Citrus branch presents many advantages as it, mainly, benefits from important investment incentives and has great hidden opportunities which are, in particular, the existence of free exchange agreements, possibilities for market diversification, as well as a full expansion of the interior market. However, even if significant efforts have been made to achieve a sustained development for the production and exports of citrus, this branch is impeded by, among others, aging orchards in some regions, weak supervision of small and medium producers, increasing scarcity of water resources mainly in Souss region, as well as the increase of production factors’ costs, particularly energy, fertilizers and crop protection products.

Development of the branch

Total planted area for citrus is estimated by the Ministry of Agriculture at 123,000 ha. There are several different citrus production areas in Morocco, following the climate, geographical situation and water availability. The most important ones are the Souss Valley (33%), around the city of Agadir, the Gharb (20%), located in the north of the capital Rabat, the Moulouya Valley (17%), near the Algerian border, Tadla(14%), near the high Atlas Mountains, as well as the Haouz region (10%), near Marrakech and Loukkos (2%). Souss Valley is, however, by far the most important citrus production area in the country. The region accounts for nearly half of Morocco’s citrus production, and about 70% of its total citrus exports. This is equally the first region where modern techniques and technologies for citrus production and handling have been im-

plemented. It should be noted that most citrus orchards are equipped with a micro-irrigation system. Total Morocco’s citrus production is estimated at 2 million tons, including oranges, easy peelers and other citrus of which 34% are intended for exports. The rest of the production (66%) is intended for fresh consumption at the level of the interior market and to transformation (juice). The range of citrus varieties grown in Morocco includes oranges, small fruits such as clementines and mandarines, lemons and grapefruits, both from conventional and organic production. Some of the most renowned varieties are: Nour, Nadorcott, Ortanique, Salustiana and Maroc late. The packaging of citrus is carried out in 53 packaging stations, of which 22 are in

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Citrus branch is the main source of income for 13.000 citrus producers. This branch allows to provide, directly or indirectly, a total of 25 million working days per year (i.e. nearly 90.000 permanent jobs) and revenues in exports that reached more than MAD 3 billion. The development of the branch of citrus is one of the main objectives of the Moroccan Green Plan. One of the goals of the plan is to increase citrus production to 3 million tonnes by 2020 and boost exports to 1.3 million t. This will allow a currency ratio of MAD 8 billion/year. For this purpose, it is provided for increasing areas with a concentration on 5 sites devoted to citrus (Souss, Haouz, Gharb, the Eastern region and Tadla). Similarly, it is provided for generalizing the use of modern irrigation techniques, renew the aging orchards, as well as massively increase the volumes treated by the packaging stations.


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Constantly Evolving Sector Since the 2012/2013 season, Morocco’s citrus production reached 2 million tonnes while it ranged from 1.2 to 1.4 million tonnes per year since the 1980s. In addition to this quantitative increase, a qualitative development was also achieved in terms of varietal profile, rootstocks and definition criteria of the quality of ripe fruits with respect to target countries. In addition, significant changes in living conditions in some target countries had a clear influence on consumers’ requirements which become more stringent for producers and exporters. Morocco’s citrus industry is dynamic and quality criteria are governed by the season data and characteristics and, particularly, by the supply / demand relationship (quantity and quality). The taste of fruits comes before its appearance although size continues to be an important commercial criterion for clementines and mandarins. This finding is not limited to Morocco but concerns other countries that have been forced to review their defining parameters of the minimum quality level required for citrus fruits marketing. These improvements have been achieved due to changes in consumer’s behaviour vis-à-vis citrus fruits and the appearance on the market of a range of new varieties besides the use of a diverse collection of rootstocks that influenced accumulation and degradation of fruits internal components (water content, acids, sugar, pigments, flavours …) which determine the fruit’s final taste. During the last two decades, Morocco’s citrus industry has undergone several mutations.

Varietal Choice

With the introduction of new varieties of mandarins, navels and several types of clementines, the days of the so-called three “nobles” (Clementine Cadoux, Washington navel and Late Moroccan orange which cover the exporting period from mid-October to midJune) have come to an end. This change was due to pressure from consuming markets and competition from other countries whether of the northern hemisphere which produce

and export the same varieties as Morocco in the same period of year or of the southern hemisphere which produce the same varieties but off-season, which allows to fill the gap between the end of the season of one group (such as easy peelers) and the beginning of its next season.

Development of exports profile

The dominance of oranges in the varietal profile and therefore in production volumes is no longer substantial as they represent currently around 50% of production while the other 50% is composed of small fruits (clementines, mandarins and mandarin hybrids). At the same time, exports are no longer dominated by oranges as its export volumes are very low because prices in the local market are often at least equivalent to those in export markets, besides abundance of traditional producing countries such as Spain or new competitors like Egypt or Turkey which produce and export to the same markets as Morocco.

Internal Quality

Linking quality only to external appearance (colour, absence of marbling or damage, size required...) and sugar-acidity ratio values is out of date. Today, quality is focused on taste, flavour, absence of pesticide residues and seeds... These are the criteria that encourage consumers to buy citrus fruits over and over again.

Requirements Changes

The production of clementines has shifted from a two-month period (November and December) with limited varieties, particularly “Cadoux” (thin-skinned and small size) to a threemonth period (from late September to late January) with a dozens of clementines varieties each with its specificities in terms of quality and period of production. Concerning the

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consumption of fresh citrus fruits, consumers demand juicy fruit with good flavour, no seeds, easy to peel and in appropriate size (according to the variety of the fruit) all along the year. The appearance of these clementines selections allowed to meet increasingly severe requirements with higher levels of quality in order to ensure a good level of palatability of fruits of Moroccan origin.

Major Markets The dominance of exports to Western Europe (over 70% of citrus exports until the late 1980s) is history. Today, exports trends are in favour of Russia, which receives over 50% of current exports. This craze in this emerging market is attributed mainly to the improvement of living conditions in this country where importers have become even more demanding than their Western European counterparts (in terms of phytosanitary control and follow-up in orchards and packing stations). North America, particularly Canada and eastern USA is a big consumer market provided products meet quality criteria defined by these markets and arrive in good condition. Some African countries are starting to import Morocco’s citrus and the African market could have great potential for the Kingdom as living conditions in African countries have improved over the past recent years.

Importance of Research For its sustainability, Morocco’s citrus sector, which was until very recently the locomotive for Morocco’s agricultural exports, is required notably to develop an integrated research, development and training system and encourage professionals to adhere to this system. Morocco is well positioned to do so, as the Kingdom has the gray matter required for it. * Palatable: having a pleasant or agreeable taste


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Morocco’s citrus production and exports on the rise During marketing year (MY) 2015/16, most of the production increases were the result of the natural alternating production, increased planting area, and good irrigation management practices. Oranges production:

Orange production, dominated by Maroc-Late and Navel varieties, for marketing year (MY) 2015/16 has been revised to 922,000 MT (Metric ton, 1,000 kg) representing a 6 percent increase compared to MY 2014/15, on a planted area of about 55,804 hectares and a productive area of 49,319 hectares. The increase in production is explained by the alternate bearing nature of the trees, the increase in area planted, and good irrigation management practices. The area planted for oranges has grown steadily since MY 2007/08 by 40 percent from 39,673 hectares to 55,804 hectares in MY 2015/16. Fresh oranges are the most popular citrus consumed in Morocco. Orange domestic consumption has been estimated to 777,000 MT, an increase of 8 percent compared to the previous year, based on consumer demand. Exports have been revised to 90,000 MT based on lower quality (smaller fruit size) and strong demand in the local

market. This caused exports to shrink considerably compared to the last year and resulted in lower return for exporters. The share of oranges exported for total Morocco citrus exports is steadily declining from an average of 400,000 MT in the early 90s, to almost 90,000 MT in MY 2015/16. European Union (mainly Netherlands and France) and Russia attract 63% of the Moroccan oranges. The other markets are Mauritania, Mali, Senegal, Canada…

Tangerine /Mandarins

In Morocco, climate conditions are ideal for growing citrus fruits; the days are hot and sunny and the nights are cool. Therefore, Moroccan tangerines and mandarins have wonderful colour and great taste. The cultivation of clementines and mandarins is an art that demands knowhow and experience. Many factors can affect fruit quality. Favourable climate conditions and rich soil aren’t the only things needed for superior taste. Rigour is also required at all stages of production, packaging and delivery.

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The production is dominated by Clementine-type varieties, such as Nules and Late Clementine with Nova and Nadorcott. It should be noted that there is a wide range of varieties in Morocco, several of which are new hybrid varieties, such as Nadorcott (Afourer) and Nova that are gaining popularity compared to local varieties. These varieties have the advantages of being a higher quality and harvested later which extends the marketing season through February and thus increases their availability to the export markets. The main production regions are Souss Massa, Oriental, Tadla, Gharb and Haouz  Each region enjoys exceptional climate conditions that result in fruit with superior taste. Tangerine/mandarin production for MY 2015/16 was estimated to 1.064 MMT a 6 percent increase compared to previous year due to the natural alternating production, increase in area planted, and good irrigation management practices. The area planted for the tangerines/mandarins has grown steadily


Domaine ELBOURA export citrus fruit under various brands:

We grow, pack and export citrus fruit ecologically. We guarantee a full and genuine traceability. We always honour our commitments to the customer, employees and environment. ELBOURA’s produce is in perfect condition. Freshness, extended shelf life, traceability and commitment are keys. Domaine ELBOURA is UNIQUE and we welcome the opportunity to place our high quality fruit into the hands of most discerning importers for the benefit of the consumer.

Certification:

SA 8000, IFS, ISO 22000, GLOBAL GAP (EUREP GAP), Field to Fork, BRC, IMANOR NM 00.5.601 and ISO 14001 Address: P.O. Box 259 Taroudant, 83000, Morocco Phone : (+212) 5 28 85 24 43 / Fax : (+212) 5 28 85 23 06 Email : elboura@elboura.com / elboura@menara.ma / domainelboura@gmail.com

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Website: www.elboura.com


by 54 percent from 40,292 hectares in MY 2007/08 to 62,181 hectares in MY 2015/16 due to new orchards being planted and growers responding to the increasing global demand for tangerines/mandarins. Consumption and Trade: In MY 2015/16, Morocco’s domestic consumption of tangerines/mandarins is estimated at 681,000 MT, an increase of 0.8 percent compared to the previous year. The exports of tangerines/mandarins have increased by 8 percent to reach around 383,539 MT. The increase in exports is due to the increase in available supplies and higher demand from Russia and E.U markets. In MY 2015/16, Russia maintained its position as the top destination for Morocco’s tangerine/ mandarin exports at 139,091 MT, representing 40 percent of total Morocco tangerine/mandarin exports.

Lemons

Lemon/Lime production has been revised to 35,875 MT, representing a 22 percent increase compared to the previous year, mainly due to the natural

Moroccan clementines in Canada

For the second year, Moroccan clementines caught the attention of the public

alternating production, and a good irrigation practices. The area planted for the lemons/limes has declined steadily since MY 2008/09 by 52 percent from 7,789 hectares in MY 2008/09 to 3,750 hectares in MY 2015/16 due to increase in the area of other citrus varieties. Morocco’s citrus exports are mostly dominated by tangerines/ mandarins and oranges, representing 98 percent of total export.

Orange Juice

The citrus processing sector in Morocco is facing rigid competition in sourcing raw materials in the fresh citrus market. This is mainly due to the low prices offered by orange juice processors compared to prices offered in the fresh market. There are five citrus processing plants currently operating in Morocco, of which three are producers of single strength orange juice that can hardly meet demand from local market buyers. Fresh oranges delivered to juice processors are currently estimated at about 50,000 MT annually. Moroccan Citrus Producers Association (ASPAM) long-term goal is to have 200,000 MT of fresh citrus allocated

in Montreal’s and Toronto’s town centers in December. The “Taste the Sun” campaign aims to promote Moroccan clementines and reminds consumers that the

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annually for juice processing by 2018. This quantity would be the equivalent of about 60 million liters of juice. Morocco’s orange juice market is currently estimated at about 50 million liters, of which 20 million comes from processing fresh citrus and the rest is imported juice or from concentrate. The local market consumes more than 70 percent of the overall orange juice production. Morocco’s orange juice consumption is currently estimated at about 50 million litters, of which 20 million liters come from local processing of fresh citrus and the rest is imported juice and concentrates. Morocco became a net importer of citrus juice and concentrate (from South America) and is likely to remain so in the future. Today, there are three single strength juice manufacturing plants in Morocco that are hardly able to meet the local demand for consumer oriented single strength juice and given the prices of the fresh citrus in the local market, the local citrus processors will continue to face strong competition from the imported juices.

fruits can be enjoyed from November to February and that 3 varieties exist: - Fine Clementine has rounded shape, with a lovely orange colour. It has one of the thinnest peels, a delightful, seedless flesh and a wonderfully fragrant and delicious taste. - Nour clementine has a rougher, easy-to-peel skin, a prominent stalk yet an incredibly sweet taste with very little tartness. - Nadorcott mandarin: With its flattened shape and thin, easy-to-peel skin, the Nadorcott melts in the mouth with a unique taste featuring the perfect balance between sweet and tart.


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Citrus

Berkane’s clementine Number 1 ambassador of Moroccan citrus

Clementines of Berkane are undoubtedly one of the best varieties of the Moroccan orchard. Easily recognizable, thanks to their unique color, juiciness, exquisite sweet flavor and seedlessness, Clementines of Berkane have everything it takes to consolidate the Morocco label and meet a growing demand. Their reputation makes them highly demanded in the international market (Russia, Europe, USA, Canada), due to their good image in customers’ minds and their low grade-outs rate.

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heltered by highlands with a relatively mild coast Mediterranean climate and high quality soil, the vast plains of the region of Berkane offer huge opportunities for citrus production. In this extraordinary terroir, clementines of Berkane, brought to the region in the 1940s, showed some unique organoleptic properties that gave them their national and international reputation. In

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fact, clementines of Berkane obtained the PGI label (Protected Geographical Indication) in recognition of their highly appreciated taste qualities. One of the main strengths of the region of Berkane is proximity to European markets, notably through the port of the city of Nador. Another asset is traceability, thanks to the Protected Geographical Indication label (PGI Berkane clementine) which guarantees

the link of the product to its territory throughout production, harvesting and packaging. It ensures the excellent quality of the product whose stages of production take place in the famous region of Berkane. Derived solely from “Clementine Fine de Berkane” and “Nour”, the fruits must be seedless, of orange to red-orange color and non-adherent skin. It is worth recalling that the IGP label


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was established with the main following objectives: • fighting against unfair competition and protect products against misuse. • providing customers with information about the origin and the quality of products • preserving and promoting national and regional heritage through better knowledge of the terroir and the know-how of the producers. As a matter of fact, operators consider the PGI label as an asset to reconquer the European market with a focus on those of high-end products demand. They are also aware of the need to extend the collective approach to marketing and develop the marketing strategy of the region’s flagship product.

Production and packaging

The annual citrus production in the region averages 220,000 tones, almost 60% of which are seedless clementines.

K

Production and quality are in constant progress, thanks to the modernization of farming techniques, the know-how of farmers and the rejuvenation of the orchards. On the technical level, producers are provided with guidance by engineers and technicians who advise farmers on good practices in citrus cultivation which optimizes orchards performance. In this context, it should be noted that exporters have established strict quality control policies and imposed drastic compliance with export standards on farmers, which resulted in significant quality improvement. Moreover, professionals will establish an inter-professional citrus research and development center aimed at improve transfer of technological knowledge and innovation with regional branches. The center will carry out research programs addressing producer’s major concerns, particularly in terms of varietal behavior, rootstocks, orchards management and production factors rationalization.

Harvested between early October and early January, clementines of Berkane are processed in 16 packing stations with a total capacity of 105,000 t/ year. Almost all of these stations are equipped with refrigeration units and designed primarily for degreening and storage. To meet all HACCP quality requirements in packing stations, considerable efforts have been deployed to modernize facilities and upgrade infrastructure. Most of these stations also achieved several certifications that allow them to export to the most demanding international markets. As far as employment is concerned, clementines play an important socioeconomic role. As a matter of fact, orchards provide some 1.6 million workdays, while packing stations ensure about 400,000. As for annual gross revenues, they can easily reach more than 550 million DH, contributing in foreign currency inflow and creating a real momentum in the region for agricultural inputs and products marketing.

antari Group (GKB) is one of the leaders in the field of fruit and vegetables export. Created 50 years ago, the Group now has 4,600 hectares of orchards and10 packing stations and accounts for over 80% of citrus fruits exports in the region. Since its establishment, the Kantari Group mobilizes all necessary resources to ensure high quality products for costumers. Thus, all operations of the Group meet Good Agricultural Practices standards (GLOBALGAP) and its packing stations are HACCP and / or BRC certified. Moreover, the Group has set up control systems certified by external bodies in order to guarantee the quality and safety of its products. It is worth noting in this regard that the Group received numerous national and international awards for its quality policy. Recently, the Group has undertaken a products diversification policy to ensure to its customers a wide range of fruits and vegetables and guarantee regular supply. The main export markets of the group are: the EU, Russia, Canada, the USA, the Middle East, Scandinavia and Africa. In these markets, the Group’s clementines are marketed under various recognized brands, including: Berkane Premium, Berkane Kids, La Perle de Berkane, Fresh, Gold, Latchyna, Sol, Victoria, Gloria Kids, Kelma Kids. Kantari Group chairs the Berkane climentine Protected Geographical Indication Association.

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AGRI-SOUSS GROUP

In southern Morocco on the sea-side AGRI-SOUSS

Immeuble Najah Cité Najah B.P.798 - 80 000 Agadir - Maroc E-mail: agrisouss@menara.ma - Tél: +212 (0) 5 28 22 67 60 Fax: +212 (0) 5 28 22 32 42 / 22 63 80 - Site Web: www.agrisouss.ma

Agriculture du Magherb / Fruit Logistica 2017 P. 20


160 producers at your service Cooperative M’BROUKA Z.I. Tassila, route de Marrakech, BP. 278, Agadir. Tel. +212 5 28 83 32 11 Fax. +212 5 28 83 46 16 E-mail : mbrouka@menara.ma

Cooperative SOFIA-SUD

Km. 42 Route de Taroudant, Ouled Teïma, Taroudant. Tel. +212 5 28 52 68 97 Fax. +212 5 28 52 61 94 E-mail : sofiasud@menara.ma

Sté PRIMA-SOUSS

Z.I. Km.1, route de Biougra, Aït Melloul, Agadir. Tel. +212 5 28 24 13 91 Fax. +212 5 28 24 16 56 E-mail : primasouss@menara.ma

Cooperative COMAPRIM

Cooperative ATLAS

Z.I, Lot 626 B, route de Biougra, Aït Melloul, Agadir. Tel. +212 5 28 24 83 99 Fax. +212 5 28 24 72 56 E-mail : catlas@menara.ma

Sté SOFPRIM

Z.I, Lot 604 B, BP. 546 Admine, Aït Melloul, Agadir Tel. +212 5 28 24 15 93 Fax. +212 5 28 24 15 95 E-mail : sofprim@iam.net.ma

Cooperative TOUBKAL Z.I, Aït Melloul, Agadir. Tel. +212 5 28 24 15 38 Fax. +212 5 28 24 33 87 E-mail : amcas@menara.ma

Sté DARDOUR-PRIMEUR

Tin Mansour, C.R Inchaden, Agadir. Tel. +212 5 28 30 31 01 Fax. +212 5 28 30 31 00 E-mail : comaprim@menara.ma

Aït Melloul. Tel. +212 5 28 30 88 17 Fax. +212 5 28 24 39 89 E-mail : dardourprimeurs@menara.ma

Cooperative ADRAR

Coopérative COFIMA

C.R Temsia, Aït Melloul. Tel. +212 5 28 31 92 15 Fax. +212 5 28 31 95 21 E-mail adrar@copadrar.ma

Douar Ben Cheikh, Temsia Tél.: +212 5 28 31 90 09 Fax : +212 5 28 31 90 19 Email : cofima2007@yahoo.fr

Agriculture du Magherb / Fruit Logistica 2017 P. 21


Photo SIPCAM

Tomato

Morocco´s agricultural export hit Morocco is one of the world’s major exporters of tomatoes. With a share of 7% of total international exports, the kingdom currently ranks fourth, behind Mexico, the Netherlands and Spain, and is the EU’s main supplier of tomatoes by far among countries outside the Union. Tomatoes constitute one of Morocco’s most important fresh exported agricultural products and a main revenue earner. At the social level, the sector creates an average of 9 million working days per year on production, packaging and processing. Moreover, it plays a role of new technologies development driving for agricultural and agro-industrial sector.

I

n Morocco, the tomato sector covers an average area of 6000 ha per year. 95% of Moroccan tomatoes are produced in the Souss-Massa-Draa area, the biggest vegetable producing region in Morocco. The success in tomatoes production and export in the Souss region is attributed to a combination of factors, some of them are external, but others are related to producers’ and exporters’ efforts. - The southern zone of Morocco enjoys very favourable conditions, which enables it to ensure high quality production in the best conditions: - Soil and climate conditions are very favourable: regular temperatures, longer periods of sunshine,

- Land availability - Experienced producers and workforce, - Significant presence of engineers and technicians both in production structures and among input and equipment suppliers which contributes substantially to the promotion of technological development, - Grouping traditions (farmer cooperatives, packing stations) - Receptive operators open for development, - Conditioning, storage and export infrastructure - Better investment and financing capabilities Recent growth has been accelerated by a number of incentives and seg-

Agriculture du Magherb / Fruit Logistica 2017 P. 22

ment-specific programmes initiated under the Green Morocco Plan (PMV), notably the contract programme targeting the development of farm crops (fruit and vegetables). Since the implementation of the PMV actions in 2008, particularly those related to supporting the inputs (farms equipment, acquisition of greenhouses, water-saving irrigation...), the development of the performances of the Moroccan tomatoes branch production shows an improvement at the level of produced volumes per cultivated hectare. The strong know-how of Morocco in the production of tomatoes allowed it to hold the highest comparative advantages compared to the rival countries.


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Tomatoes’ branch is granted a particular attention in the framework of the program-contract entered into by the Government and the branch’s representatives. The action plan of implementing this program-contract is, particularly, about: - Expanding the areas under greenhouses and those of open filed. - Equipping most farms with drip irrigation syste m. - Developing the aggregation - Increasing the packaging capacity by upgrading the existing units and creating new ones with the aim of adapting our products with the development of foreign markets’ requirements.

Tomato exports

The export potential in tomatoes has increased steadily and currently reaches 500,000 t each year. It accounts for 33% of tomato production and 50% of the total exports of horticultural products.  Therefore tomato exports play an important role as they generate nearly 1.1 billion dirham in foreign currency. The share of exported Moroccan tomatoes on the global market expanded from 2.7% in 2002 to 7% in the last years, due in large part to increased demand. However, Europe remains Morocco’s primary destination, with up to 90% of exports absorbed by the EU. The analysis of the Moroccan tomatoes exports per country shows that they are mainly intended for France, followed by Russia, Spain and the United Kingdom. In cultivation, major changes have been emerging for some time. While

round tomatoes dominated production for a long time, the product range has now been extended considerably. Small-diameter tomato varieties, such as cocktail, cherry and plum tomatoes, now account for 30% of export deliveries. The rather high share of cherry tomatoes is related to the high competition in the EU market. The EU applies a complex system of preferences for tomato imports from Morocco. Quantities are fixed and serve as entry price quotas and tariff rate quotas at the same time. High-price cherry tomatoes gained importance in Moroccan exports, since they were less affected by restrictions concerning minimum entry prices. Fierce competition among major producers, such as Spain and Turkey, is one reason limiting Morocco’s ability to expand and capture new market shares. Non-tariff barriers, such as the strict sanitary controls placed on imports of perishable goods to the US, also constitute another limiting factor. Morocco, however, is striving under its PMV to carry on with its plans to bolster its tomato production and increase its share in existing and potential markets.

Market diversification

Compliance with health and environmental protection standards, rules of certification and traceability, and continuous diversification in supply are essential assets enabling Moroccan produce to continue to occupy a top position on shelves serving the most demanding consumers. While the EU is likely to remain the main export market for Moroccan goods, the government is working to diversify ag-

Agriculture du Magherb / Fruit Logistica 2017 P. 24

ricultural trade partners to limit risk and generate new sources of income. In the export strategy of Moroccan operators, significant changes have been emerging in recent times. Due to restrictions on exports to EU markets, increased orientation toward the Russian market has been observed. Deliveries of Moroccan tomatoes to Russia increased quite considerably.

Meeting markets requirements

To meet the requirements of European trade, the Moroccan export companies have in recent years made great efforts to comply with European standards in terms of quality assurance and regulations on maximum residue levels. A central watchdog role for Moroccan exports is played by the Etablissement Autonome de Contrôle et de Coordination des Exportations. To assure compliance of export products with the legal regulations in the EU, the EACCE has made it mandatory in all packing stations to maintain registers for all phytosanitary measures, to have a monitoring plan and to carry out residue analysis. Independent laboratories verify the results. A major player in the marketing of Moroccan fruit and vegetables is the multimodal platform of the International Market of St. Charles in Perpignan, located directly on the Spanish-French border. In addition to the residue investigations already performed in Morocco, all Moroccan products are subject to a further inspection of incoming goods within the scope of “Démarche Qualité Saint Charles’’.


The Moroccan Association of Producers and Producers/Exporters of Fruits and Vegetables Av. Mly Ismaïl, Dar Illigh – Imm.A5- Bur 209 - Cité Nahda – Agadir- Maroc

AFFILIATED EXPORTERS GROUPS Agafonte

The Apefel regroups 550 producers / exporters and 80% of moroccan fruits and vegetables export.

Tél : +212.5.28.24.62.04 – Fax : +212.5.28.24.62.09 E-mail : info@agafonte.com

Agri-souss

Tél : +212.5.28.22.67.60 – Fax : +212.5.28.22.32.42 E-mail : agrisouss@menara.ma

Agrupa-Marca

Tél : +212.5.28.81.82.91 – Fax : +212.5.28.81.93.34 E-mail : agrupamarca@hotmail.com

Maraissa

Our contraints, our ideas and our solutions !

Tél : +212.5.22.97.23.12 – Fax : +212.5.22.97.22.79 Email : secretariat@azura-maroc.com

Delassus

Tél : +212.5.22.35.39.06 – Fax : +212.5.22.35.33.98 E-mail : kbs@delassus.com

Fresh Express

Adresse: zone industrielle, lot. B 628. 80000 AIT MELLOUL Tél : +212 5 28 24 59 45 Fax : +212 5 28 24 59 44 E-mail : renecoste07@gmail.com

GPA

Tél : +212.5.28.84.59.06 – Fax : +212.5.28.84.59.05 E-mail : contact@gpa-export.com

Groupe SAOAS

Zone Industrielle III, Agadir Tél : +212 5 28 33 10 10 - Fax : +212 5 28 33 35 82 E-mail : saoas@menara.ma

Soprofel

Tél : +212.5.28.82.19.25 – Fax : +212.5.28.84.32.14 b.saloua@groupesoprofel.com

Les Domaines

Tél : +212.5.22.39.85.00 – Fax : +212.5.22.93.33.00 E-mail : dcgeda@casanet.ma

Matysha

Tél : +212.6.61.69.16.99 – Fax : +212.5.28.81.02.40 E-mail : station.matysha@matysha.com

An adequate formation and information. A respected traceability. Water is scarce, we learnt to optimise it. We respect the international standards. Promoting the Moroccan product.

Qualiprim

Adresse siège: Douar Touzaikou, Khmiss Ait Amira, Chtouka Ait Baha. Adresse courrier : BP 1362 Z.I Ait Melloul Tél : 0528 81 22 24/25-- Fax : 0528 812 234 E-mail : secretariat@freshprim.ma

Prim Atlas

Tél : +212.5.28.82.67.90 Fax : +212.5.28.82.67.88 E-mail : primatlas@menara.ma

Suncrops

Tél : +212.5.28.82.85.36/37 Fax : +212.5.28.82.85.38 E-mail : sucropsexport@menara.ma

www.apefel.com

Agriculture du Magherb / Fruit Logistica 2017 P. 25


Souss-Massa Region

Morocco’s flagship of tomatoes exports Growing early vegetables and fruits is considered as one of the pillars of the Moroccan fresh produce sector. It has been subject to profound changes over the course of the last decades. With sheltered crops, grown in greenhouses, Morocco can offer today state-of-the art agriculture, comparable to what is practiced in the most advanced countries. Many technical improvements have been introduced, such as professional nurseries, new kinds of greenhouses, drip irrigation, rational fertilization and the Integrated Pest Management.

Greenhouses

After abandoning tunnel-type green-

houses and the use of the Canarian-type for over 25 years, new types of greenhouses were brought to the region in order to improve control of climate conditions during production and lessen some problems encountered in Canarian-type greenhouses which were still widely used by producers in the region. These new greenhouses have also undergone many improvements for optimal usage.

Ventilation

Ventilation is vital to remove moisture from the greenhouses, control temperature and allow air exchange with the outside. It was ensured manually and represented one of the major difficulties for greenhouse farming. For the Canarian-type greenhouses, it was even more complicated with the introduction of the greenhouse insect-proof netting in order to fight against whitefly. The modernization of greenhouses in Morocco resulted in better control of

Agriculture du Magherb / Fruit Logistica 2017 P. 26

production parameters, through many tools such as heating, thermal screens, forced ventilation and temperature and humidity control.

Off-ground cultivation

The search for alternatives to methyl bromide in the fight against pests and soil diseases brought out many solutions such as solarization, biofumigation and other chemical nematicides. This latter turned out to be of little pro-


outs rate and longer production periods, …

Varietal choice

tection to tomatoes. Today, growers are increasingly shifting to off-ground cultivation in order to address land related problems and further improve production quality. Currently, off-ground cultivation is becoming more interesting technically (better knowledge of substrates ...) and economically (fast return on investment). In addition, if duly carried out, off-ground cultivation has many other advantages on production such as quality, size and taste, water and fertilizers, lower grade-

With the coming of greenhouses, growers were introduced to high performing hybrid varieties. More vigorous with a long resistance list (verticillium, fusarium, nematodes, leaf mold, etc.), hybrids allow higher yields especially as the production and export cycle is longer. As for producers, demand is on more efficient varieties (yield, quality, disease and stress resistance ...), with different expectations depending on producers’ target markets.

Seedlings and plantation

Today and since many years, most producers opt for ready plants prepared by professional nurseries. This choice enables them to focus more on preparing greenhouses, particularly as plants are grafted which they cannot do by themselves (need for specialized units with specific infrastructure - controlled light, temperature and humidity ... - that only

Une image se construit et se nourrit ! Dans tous les secteurs d’activité, des plus traditionnels aux plus innovants, deux types d’entreprises coexistent  : celles qui adoptent, adaptent et cherchent à améliorer un modèle économique préexistant et celles qui dès leur création ou à l’occasion d’une évolution majeure, innovent en créant un nouveau modèle de développement. C’est dans ce cadre que la société NABAT CHAOUIA, filiale dans la Morabit Holding (Groupe BODOR), lance sa nouvelle station de conditionnement et d’export relative aux fruits et légumes située au niveau de la région d’Azemmour. D’une part, une nouvelle gamme avec une panoplie de produits sont proposés par notre société NABAT CHAOUIA notamment les pommes de terre, haricots verts, Courgettes, tomates et oignons afin de satisfaire et de répondre au mieux aux besoins de nos clients à l’échelon national et international. Dans ce contexte, NABAT CHAOUIA n’a pas hésité à participer aux salons internationaux (Dubaï (WOP) et Berlin (Fruits Logistica)) pour la promotion de sa nouvelle activité. D’autre part, ce projet ambitieux vise à valoriser les productions des différentes régions en participant à la signature de nouvelles conventions et de partenariats avec les agriculteurs dans le cadre d’une agrégation.

plant nurseries are able to ensure). This has resulted in professionalization of the plant production business and the Agadir region is a national champion in this field.

Irrigation and fertilization

Today, we are witnessing a generalization of drip irrigation and fertigation (injection of fertilizers, soil amendments, and other water-soluble products into an irrigation system). In off-ground cultivation some producers even begin to install closed circuits to recover surpluses for reuse. Moreover, soil analysis is gradually spreading to all regions which helped to achieve customized advice for each producer. Other improvements related to better knowledge of crop needs, features of specific varieties and production situations are also to mention in this regard. Hence, besides mineral fertilizers increasing use and control, other products, unknown few years ago, are now part of producers’ arsenal for instance: foliar fertilizers, biostimulants, root

Informations supplémentaires : Marché Cible : Afrique, U.E, Pays de Golf et Russie, USA. La station est propriétaire de 30Ha de terre agricole entièrement équipée. Pour tout partenariat veuillez contactez M. Ahmed MAJIDI, DGA NABAT CHAOUIA. Tél : +212 (0) 660-100-977 E-mail : a.majidi@nabatchaouia.com Site-web : www.nabatchaouia.com

Agriculture du Magherb / Fruit Logistica 2017 P. 27


boosters, phosphite ions, mycorrhizae, etc.

Pollination

With the use of greenhouses, pollination, which happens naturally in open fields, seemed to cause problems due to the lack of air movement and of bees. Many means have been tested to provoke artificial pollination. However, the adopted solution was bumblebees which after a slow start rapidly developed to the extent of being used in 100% of greenhouses in few years’ time.

Crop Protection

Faced with changing security standards

in importing countries, an important progress has been achieved in the field of crop protection management. However, management of many diseases is more difficult under drastic MRLs restrictions and certifications required by different markets. In this regard, producers are constantly innovating: grafting, solarization, composting, offground cultivation, IPM (integrated pest management), etc.

New technologies

Increasingly used by some growers, these techniques are related to different operations: ventilation, irrigation,

Agriculture du Magherb / Fruit Logistica 2017 P. 28

fertilizers and treatment products injection, for instance: - Computer-controlled management of greenhouse ventilation via measurement devices and programmes; - Irrigation management through instruments capable of accurately measuring the state of various parameters; - Climate and plant specific irrigation; - Fertigation management on the basis of precise knowledge of crop needs and fertilizer types; - Cultivation management facilitated since it is carried out from an office allowing managers to control, from their offices, all equipped units; - Another new technique related to


energy saving: use of solar energy;

Packaging, Packing units and logistics

Tomato exporters use the latest techniques in terms of fruit and vegetables quality preservation from harvest to market with the aim of ensuring the arrival of fresh products to consumer with the highest possible quality and in full respect of applicable laws and regulations. Since first machinery of the 1980s, packing has remarkably developed as a result of the development of the requirements of target markets’ needs: deadline, sophisticated sorting and food security constraints. Fruit and vegetables packing and sorting methods have developed considerably. Manual and visual sorting in packing units has gradually been replaced by more efficient new generations of electronic machinery. Currently, two transportation channels are used by Moroccan exporters of fresh tomatoes: International road transport (TIR) and maritime container transport. Finally, it should also be noted that environmental impact is increasingly taken into consideration. Indeed, the issue of environment is becoming a major concern in target markets (recycling, footprint and carbon footprint) and Moroccan exporters are increasingly aware of it.

Future Challenges

Producers have yet to work on addressing several challenges: - Improving productivity and quality; - Meeting consumer’s concerns (even if they differ from one customer to another, besides their constantly change) while respecting environmental and health standards; - Anticipating or reacting cleverly to the requirements of importing countries by integrating appropriate solutions to meet eventual standards and requirements; - Consolidating their position in traditional markets and working to conquer new ones; - Fighting efficiently against the crop enemies while minimizing as much as possible the use of pesticides. In this regard, IPM is encouraged and generalized along with the reduction of chemicals in order to preserve beneficial organisms and protect the health of workers, producers and consumers as well as the environment. - Favouring organic production of tomatoes (various segments), because of the enthusiasm it provokes among consumers; However, despite the high performance achieved by Moroccan exporters and producers in terms of production techniques, valorization  and marketing, there is no doubt that many challenges and difficulties are still to be overcome in the future: global economy fluctuations, increasingly drastic regulations (safety, traceability), competition, changes in consumption patterns ... Therefore, it is of paramount importance for this industry to continuously anticipate consumer expectations and develop the tools necessary to address these challenges. Agriculture du Magherb / Fruit Logistica 2017 P. 29


Moroccan berries on UK mission Morocco’s export control body, the EACCE, organized in September a trade mission for soft fruit exporters to the UK, held at Grosvenor House in London, allowing Moroccan companies and UK importers to benefit from one-on-one meetings.

Mr

Mohamed Alamouri, president of the Moroccan association of strawberry packers and exporters (AMCEF), said that the aim of the meeting was to communicate in order to expand the possibilities for Moroccan soft fruit in the UK. “We have the climate and the closeness to the European market to be able to deliver very good quality,” he said, stressing that the future of Moroccan soft fruit was not just about strawberries, but increasingly blueberries and raspberries. “In the next 10 years, big investments will be made in soft fruit.” Abdellatif Bennani, president of the Moroccan association of berry producers (AMPFR), focused more on the social and environmental side of the country’s berries, highlighting the use of protected production and drip irrigation

to optimise water use, the importance of good conditions and liveable wages for workers, and close control of pesticide residues. He also raised the need to push the frozen berry segment in the UK market, since Moroccan berry exports essentially switch from fresh to frozen in the month of April. In 2014/15, exports of fresh Moroccan strawberries to the UK stood at 5,620 tonnes, while frozen strawberries totalled just 44 tonnes. In the same period, the UK also imported 2,424 tonnes of raspberries and 1,175 tonnes of blueberries. “The fresh berries that come to the UK from Morocco are very high quality,” he said, “and it is the same growers that produce the berries that go into the frozen segment, which are mostly exported to the US. Our mission is to make our frozen berries a success here in the UK, as we have done with fresh.”

For many applications in the food service sector, including for cakes, ice creams and jams, as well as for cocktails and smoothies frozen berries are preferable to fresh since they offer a more reliable taste, with a consistent brix, according to the development manager of company which sources from various countries including Morocco. The important thing is to know which variety to use for which application. For bakery applications, Moroccan varieties are more suitable, with Camarosa and Festival especially good for the frozen sector. For jams we take the last berries harvested as they are sweeter and then we instantly freeze them. Angie Stuart of the UK’s Fresh Produce Consortium was the one to raise the specter of Brexit, revealing that the FPC had been lobbying ministers over trade deals and temporary unemployment restrictions. The UK remained heavily reliant on imports, she said, and Brexit would offer greater opportunities to exporters from countries outside the EU, including from Morocco. 

Worldwide growth potential

Moroccan exporters deliver a product of high quality meeting all the requirements for the different markets even the most demanding ones in terms of traceability and social responsibility. According to the EACCE, exports from Morocco stood at 2.6m tons in 2015/16, of which fruit and vegetables accounted for a massive 1.5m tons. The latter figure has grown markedly in the last five years, in part as a result of worldwide promotions organized by the EACCE in the Middle East, Asia, the UK, Germany and Russia, and helped by market analyses of countries including China and Brazil. Agriculture du Magherb / Fruit Logistica 2017 P. 30


g n i k c s a t i p n e u t a g i l n i i f A f d f re ez an Raison social AFRICAN BLUE AGROGAILE ATAGRI

ATLANTIC BLUE BERRY MAROC

Produits commercialisés

Personne à contacter

Adresse

Blueberry Fresh and frozen

Mr. SLIMANI : 0661466810 f.slimani@african-blue.com

Lotissement Belle - BP N° 15 14302 MOULAY BOUSSELHAM Bahara Ayad - BP N° 1 CP 14302MOULAY BOUSSELHAM agrogailes@menara.ma agrogailessart@gmail.com

Strawberry and Blueberry

agrogailes@menara.ma ZOUITINA : 0537902813 0537432347

Frozen Strawberry

Mr. ESSOUSI Allal, Tél : 06 61 15 17 64 Tél : 06 61 28 54 44 - Ou Mme AZOUI Fatiha Tél : 06 61 58 99 00

LOT 20 Z.I BIR RAMI RUE IBN ABI ZARAA N° 1-KENITRA

Blueberry

Melle Imane ALAMOURI imane.alamouri@atlanticblue.ma

LARACHE

CAL

Strawberry and Blueberry

NEMSAH LAOUAMRA - BP 39 LARACHE

COOPERATIVE DRADER

Strawberry and Raspberry

COOPERATIVE IBERRY

Strawberry and Raspberry

DOUAR DALHA LOT AL WAFAE N° 499 LARACHE Km 6 - Route de Moulay Bousselham 14302 MOULAY BOUSSELHAM

COOPERATIVE LUKUS

Strawberry

DELIKEMAR DIRAFROST Maroc DRISCOLL’S

Frozen Strawberry Frozen

Mr Mouhsine ISMAILI Tél: 06 60 10 99 90 - mismailiyis@gmail.com Mr Said LAHSIKA - Tél: 0661961685 cooplukus@hotmail.com  Mr Mohamed HARGAL : Tél: 06 61 47 51 55  mhargal2@gmail.com Mr. ESSOUSI Allal Tél : 06 61 15 17 64 - Tél : 06 61 28 54 44 Ou Mme AZOUI Fatiha : Tél : 06 61 58 99 00

Lot 31 Zone industrielle BIR RAMI - BP 1378 KENITRA

Mr Elmustapha LABYAD : Tél: 06 61 37 91 02 m.labyad@dirafrost.ma

Route de Rabat, km 15 Laoumra - LARACHE

BELMKADDEM Nabil : Tél: 0537901832 -  0537901830 Strawberry, raspberry and blueberry Mr. nbelmkaddem@driscolls.eu

Douar Laghdira - BP 99 LARACHE

Douar DLALHA - 14302 MLY BOUSSELHAM- BP 4422 LARACHE 92003

FELGAR

Frozen Strawberry

Mme SORAYA BENAISSA : Tél : 06 61 15 84 - felgarlarache@gmail.com

B.P. 186 - LARACHE

FRIGODAR

Frozen Strawberry

Mr Mustapha TIMOUN - 0661487990

Oulad Aguil  ciadat Lalla Mimouna  BP : 32 - 14302 MOULAY BOUSSELHAM

Berries

Mr. Luis : gerencia@txula.com

Hicham ZOUID - Tél : 06 68 37 51 86 hzouid@laragel.com Personne à contacter (Nom, Tél et Adresse mail

Larache Rue Cadi Ayad, Résidence Rencontre Bloc G 1er étage n° 552-90 000 TANGER palmafrut@hotmail.fr BP 4414 Eloufae - LARACHE laragel@laragel.com Adresse du courrier et électronique

Mme Mouna - Tél: 05 37 90 32 07 natberrymaroc@menara.ma

Avenue MOULAY IDRISS EL AZHAR BP 379 -92000 Larache

Jan SEVENHUYSENS : +31 620 421 390 Jan.sevenhuysens@messem.biz Abdellah ELYAMLAHI : 05 39 51 0412 Abdellah.elyamlahi@messem.biz

Douar LAHYAIDA Km 15 Route de Moulay Bousselham LAOUAMRA

JANAT EL MAGHREB

Mr. Mansour - Tél: 06 62 37 39 23 palmafrut@hotmail.fr

PALMAFRUT LARAGEL SARL

Fresh and frozen berries

Raison social

Produits commercialisés Strawberry, NATBERRY MAROC-SARL Blueberry Raspberry and

MESSEM

Frozen Strawberry

Mr. Miguel TSUCHYA : 0034 663 196 096 Rue 6 Quartier Industriel Strawberry, Raspberry and Blueberry Mr. Sergio ESPADA : 06 61 26 85 43 KENITRA- gharbex@yahoo.fr gharbex@yahoo.fr  -Mr. Emmanuel LEBON : 06 61 10 40 54 Résidence Mehdi, 38 rue Mohamed ROY AGRI MAROC SARL Raspberry and blueberry elebon@royal.es Abdou /- Fruit BP1268 - KENITRA Agriculture du Magherb Logistica 2017 P. 31 -Mr. François MASSE : 06 61 900717 - fmasse@royal.es RAIMY SOCIETE AGRICOLE SA


Moroccan Berries sector

In Morocco, the sector of red fruits which rests on three main species (strawberries, raspberries and blueberries) represents an area of excellence in the Gharb and Loukkos regions which account for around 90% of national red fruit production. The considerable development of this sector is attributed to several key assets of this region, namely, proximity to Europe, good quality soils, favourable climate conditions, skilful workforce, mastery of production, packing, preservation and techniques, production offshoring by some European companies to Morocco and State investment incentives. It is worth recalling that the development of this sector started in the 1950s when strawberries were first brought to Morocco followed by a major expansion in the late 1980s in the Gharb and Loukkos regions. And since 2000 which was marked by a global growing demand, Morocco diversified its national red fruit production to blueberries and raspberries. Today, the red fruit sector in the region generates over 1.5 billion DH turnover and over 4.5 million days of work throughout the value chain which contributes to job creation in the rural areas. This sector also contributes to the development of farm-related activities, the economic benefits of which are noticeable on the region.

Strawberries In Morocco, strawberries’ farming has considerably developed in the early 1990s. Acreage has significantly grown from 750 hectares with 31,000 tonnes of production in 1995 to 3,500 ha and an average annual production of 140,000 tonnes in the recent years in nearly 600 farms. Two thirds of this production is exported, including 20% of fresh production from November to March and 45% of frozen production from April to July while the remaining two thirds goes to the local market. On the technical level, strawberries farming has witnessed remarkable development over the past 20 years in Moroc-

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co. From an open field system, it went to small tunnel covers and then to greenhouses (for large producers) along with


technical improvements throughout the production process, from planting to harvest through fertilization, irrigation and integrated pest management. Farming systems applied to strawberries changed from an extensive but little productive model to a highly productive intensive one, reflected by the average production per hectare which increased in 20 years time from 17 to 45 tonnes / ha. It should also be stressed that the distinguished dynamism of producers in the region in terms of traceability certification. Indeed, almost all Morocco’s red fruit exports are EurepGAP certified and the majority of packing stations and freezing units are HACCP certified. These facilities meet the technical standards of the most demanding markets such as the European or American ones. It is worth noting that the attraction of this sector resulted in the settlement of some European companies in particular which contributed substantially to its development through the use of the most advanced techniques. Moreover,

this key sector ensures the transfer of technology to other farming sectors, notably drip irrigation which is now largely used by producers of vegetables, watermelon, industrial tomato, melon ... Moreover, strawberries significantly promoted women’s access to employment. Women now represent 100% of the workforce in harvesting and in packing stations (unemployment basically eliminated in the region). Concerning marketing, strawberries have three main commercial channels: fresh strawberries meant for export, fresh strawberries destined for the local market and frozen strawberries. The local market is supplied through mediators who purchase directly from farmers or from packing units.

Production Diversification

Professionals have long felt the need to diversify red fruit varieties meant for export. In this regard, they opted for new varieties with better performance,

especially in terms of precocity, organoleptic qualities and conservation. In general, savvy producers opt for a combination of several varieties in order to cover the whole cycle and better meet the requirements of markets (precocity, fresh, frozen). Producers are particularly open to varieties with high tasting value to meet the growing market demand. Generally, the varieties opted for are the same as in the Huelva (Spain), but with different proportions. Each variety requires adequate treatment to fully manifest its genetic potential. Therefore, farmers must master appropriate techniques, mainly in terms of fertilization (programmes differ from one variety to another) in order to balance productivity, production regularity and quality of the fruit throughout the season. It is worth mentioning that professionals are examining the establishment of a research centre in the Larache region meant to carry out tests on the different existing varieties to determine the most

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suitable ones to the local production conditions and to the local markets and help seize opportunities of exporting fresh red fruit in April and May. The ideal variety of strawberries for Morocco should have the following characteristics: - Precocity: entry into production the first week of December - Productivity: high (over 900 g / plant) - Form of fruits: conical - Colour: Red both inside and outside - Taste (minimum rate of 8) - Solid fruit allowing long shelf-life and cuts for frozen - Tolerance to pests and diseases

Notre ambition au Maroc : un service complet (Douane, Transport, Entreposage)

100 camions et remorques réfrigérées. 11 000 m2 d’entrepôts frigorifiques avec contrôle hygrométrique, un système informatisé de gestion et d’exploitation. Pour se rapprocher des sites de production en matière de fruits et légumes, le Groupe GUANTER-RODRIGUEZ a implanté des filiales au Maroc avec des bureaux à Tanger et Agadir. Le savoir-faire et la rigueur permettent au Groupe GUANTER-RODRIGUEZ de proposer un service complet, en tenant compte des besoins spécifiques de chaque client.

PERPIGNAN

Tél.: (33) 4 68 85 61 30 Fax : (33) 4 68 85 61 28

TANGER

Tél.: 212 (0) 5 39 34 08 05 Fax : 212 (0) 5 39 34 08 06

AGADIR

Tél.: 212 (0) 6 61 16 46 53 Fax : 212 (0) 5 28 23 85 58

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Other red fruits

In addition to strawberries production diversification which resulted in the extension of export period and access to additional markets, some producers explored other means of diversification by introducing new very high value added fruit species highly demanded in European markets: small red fruits, especially raspberries and blueberries. Morocco enjoys a comparative advantage when it comes to the production of berries / small red winter fruits destined for EU markets, thanks to its geographical location, its favourable agricultural and climatic conditions and its qualified workforce. On the economic level, the introduction of new species of berries in strawberries producing regions has given a boost to the sector in the sense that it enabled producers to diversify their offer in the European market. Europe cannot meet its own needs of berries during winter and part of spring. Though several European countries are producers of berries, their production reach the market only from June to July. During the rest of the year, supply is ensured from Chile, Mexico and more recently Spain. Thus, Morocco can easily have access to the European market even in the presence of these countries because the Kingdom’s proximity to Europe gives it a considerable advantage compared to the South American countries unfavourable because of exorbitant air transport costs. Morocco is able to compete with Spain. In fact, Spanish companies themselves are settling in Morocco for the same reasons. The Kingdom is already one of the main EU suppliers of fresh strawberries. The same importers and marketing agents of strawberries in the EU are in charge of marketing raspberries, blackberries and blueberries. As a matter of fact, raspberries exports grew 4 fold from 949 tonnes in 2008 to 3,974 tonnes 2014. As for blueberries exports, they were multiplied by 28 from 139 tonnes to 3.895 tonnes. The EU remains the first destination of Moroccan red fruits, with 95% of the exported volume. Spain leads with 35% of the volume, followed by France (33%) and the UK (20%). However, besides diversifying its offer, Morocco is working on diversifying markets in order to improve its exports and remedy to


European market fluctuations.

Importance of greenhouses The use of protective structures for production improves both productivity and quality. It allows to significantly prevent the risk of diseases that spread during wet and high humidity periods. Moreover, without the use of these structures, harvest would not be possible in rainy weather. The berries would therefore be too ripe which will reduce the quality of fruits meant for export. Berries production in greenhouses substantially reduces undesirable moisture rates in the soil caused by heavy rainfall minimizing therefore the risk of soil diseases.

Berries packing and freezing: Strawberries development required the establishment of packing infrastructures in a region hosting some 15 packing and freezing units, with a fresh packing capacity per unit of 20 to 40 tonnes / day and a freezing capacity per unit of 20 to 50 tonnes / day. The main packing and freezing infrastructure of strawberries are based essentially in the Loukos region but regional production is also processed by freezing units in other regions. According to professionals, processing capacity of available units exceeds by far the potential of current production and existing infrastructure is largely underuti-

lized. It should be noted that the same units can be used for other red fruits either fresh or frozen.

Organization The Moroccan sector of red fruit is managed by two associations: the Moroccan association of red fruit producers (AMPFR) and the Moroccan association of strawberries packer and exporters (AMCEF). Among the missions of these professional association is to contribute to the upgrading of agricultural businesses, disseminate market information, enhance technical and organizational capacities of agricultural businesses, train farmers and agribusiness professionals.

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Organic Agriculture

Steady development in Morocco Morocco has a significant horticultural production, and the organic sector has grown rapidly since its establishment in 1986. AMABIO, the Moroccan Association of Organic Production Chain Value, is a driving force, offering technical assistance to farmers and working together with the government on developing strategies for organic agriculture in Morocco.

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nitiated in 1986, the first export of organic commodities was citrus. Later, exports extended to vegetables, medicinal and aromatic plants and other exotic products. Between 1990 and 1994, organic growers were particularly active in the development of the organic sector in Morocco, by the rapid increase in the cultivated lands they had allocated to the production of fruits and vegetables, which increased from a few hectares in 1990 to over 300 ha in 1999. In 1998, another category of organic growers appeared: Smallholders within cooperatives in the rural and mountain area. They were assisted by NGOs to launch marketing operations of organic medicinal and aromatic plants collected in forests. Argan forest was also subject to regulatory certification, and the oil is currently marketed as endemic argan oil of Morocco. During the last decade, the areas dedicated to organic farming increased significantly, with a growth rate of 54% per year.

Low-input, high-labor and local varieties

Moroccan agriculture has many advantages that promote the emergence of organic farming: - The land and the climate are suitable for the production of off-season products for EU markets - Easy access to labor is another strength in the Moroccan agricultural production - The persistence of traditional agriculture has allowed the conservation of farmers’ expertise on “natural� (low input) production - In all Moroccan regions, especially in the High Atlas, local varieties have been conserved in a dynamic way by farmers since centuries. Farmers have been able Agriculture du Magherb / Fruit Logistica 2017 P. 36


to select varieties resistant to diseases and pests and adapted to local environmental conditions. Self-seeds reproduction on farms has remained predominant in these areas.

Constraints

While organic production in recent years has developed significantly in terms of area, production and export, many constraints remain and can be summarized as follows: · The conversion period of 2 to 3 years, during which productivity declines and the product is not valued · The increase in production costs caused by high costs of certification, currently performed by foreign regulators; · The scarcity of authorized inputs, including bio-pesticides and composts in the domestic market as well as seeds and plants used in organic farming; · Lack of subsidies for professional entities (farmers, cooperatives...) ensuring the take-off of the sector; · Lack of communication and promotion of organic products by government

entities in both national and foreign markets; · The lack of a domestic market for organic products, although there is a significant potential national demand.

Driving organization: AMABIO

The Moroccan Association of Organic

Production Chain Value (AMABIO) was created in 2010. Its mission is to define and implement together with the government a strategy for the future development of organic agriculture. It also offers technical assistance to farmers and engages in the extension of good practices. Moreover, AMABIO promotes the consumption of Moroccan organic products both nationally and internati-

Located in the south of Morocco at 50 km from Agadir, Beleco is specialized in the farming and the exportation of fresh, dried organic aromatic herbs. Plantawalle is the company expert for herbs, that helps us with the farm concepts, tests and herb supervision. In order to enhance the Beleco’s efficiency and to help local farmers find their way into the organic production,Beleco judged necessary to get into a developing program with the german federal ministry for economic cooperation( BMZ) and SEQUA. Wide range of products : Chives, Dill, Chervil, Tarragon, Calendula, Coriander, Lemongrass, Lavender, spearmint, Melissa, Oregano, Marjoram, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme. -Healthy growing herbs -Local partnership -Creating value in the region -Enhancing Organic production Mustapha Danouane Tel. 00212 6 62 76 60 96 E-Mail: mustapha@belecomaroc.com Nadiya TANDINA Commercial coordinator - nadiya@legrosbio.com +212 6 75 65 65 14 - +212 5 28 23 80 47

Eva Maria Walle Herbs and spices Expert emwalle@plantawalle.org +49 176 616 464 25 +49 7771 91 81 3 61

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onally. AMABIO brings together all the operators in the sector including producers and processors, exporters of fresh and processed organic products; inspection and certification bodies; suppliers of organic inputs; researchers and extension society; non-governmental associations and organizations (NGOs) promoting the organic sector, environmental protection and sustainable development. The government and AMABIO signed in April 2011, a program contract up to 2020 for the development of the organic sector. A program of investment up to 100 M€ was signed, to boost the implementation of operations in order to reach the following objectives (refer to the table). The program contract is based on the following axes to reach the objectives: 1. Development of the research and extension actions; 2. Improvement of the conditions of valorization, marketing and promotion for organic products in the domestic market 3. Development and promotion of the export sector; 4. Improvement of the professional condition framework.

OBJECTIVES 2020 Situation 2011

Objectives 2020

Increment

4 000

40 000

36 000

Production (T)

40 000

400 000

360 000

Exports (T)

10 000

60 000

50 000

Income in foreign currency (millions €)

8.93

71.43

62.50

Job creation (millions of working days)

1

9

8

Surface (Ha)

the Moroccan Accreditation Service (SEMAC). Farmers purchase seeds, fertilizers and other inputs from companies that import most materials from the EU. There is a real need for a professional association of companies that import and distribute organic inputs to the organic operators. Such an association should defend the farmers’ rights to reduced taxes on imported organic inputs, which are cu-

The Moroccan Ministry of Agriculture has developed an organic national regulation (N°39-12 published in February 2013), in coordination with AMABIO. Farmers have until now certified their products through private certification and control bodies since no national body was available, but this will now change since implementing decrees relative to the organic national regulation have been published. The national authority for approving certification bodies is Agriculture du Magherb / Fruit Logistica 2017 P. 38

rrently at the same level as conventional inputs. In addition, production of Moroccan organic inputs should be encouraged by government entities to decrease the high costs of inputs especially for smallholders.

High diversity of organic crops

The soil and climate diversity offer a wide range of products. Most of them


are grown naturally without any treatment what give them high potentiality to be easily certified to organic products.  Moroccan organic farming is divided in seven sub-sectors of products. - Fruits: Citrus, Berries, stone fruits, nuts, dry fruits, pome fruits - Vegetables: bulbs, roots, tubers, leafy, fruits (tomatoes, zucchinis, eggplant, cucumber,…) - Aromatic and medicinal plants, spices, condiments - Cereals - Processed (Oil, Fruits) - Argan (Oil seeds, Oil) - Livestock products (Meat, honey)

Exports: Citrus dominated

The export-oriented activities generate substantially all revenues of the national organic sector. The exports are dominated by citrus, mainly “Maroc Late” variety, while zucchini dominates within vegetables. For processed products, orange juice dominates. The EU is the main destination market. France, Germany and Switzerland were the first European importers of organic produce from Morocco. France imports almost 90% of citrus and 79% of processed products. Germany is the leading importer of early vegetables with 61% of the volume of this category.

Compliance with EU regulations

The European regulation is strict. To

export an organic product to Europe, it must be produced and controlled equivalently to EU regulations. If the exporting country is among the countries whose production rules and control are deemed equivalent to EC Regulation 1235/2008 on imports from third parties (Argentina, Australia, Costa Rica, India, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland and Tunisia); the product is automatically approved. For the other exporting countries (USA, Canada, China, Morocco... etc), organic products are subject to import authorizations within each Member State. Nevertheless, in all cases, the products must be certified and inspected at each stage of production to be exported abroad. Moroccan farmers exporting to EU have until now used the services of a European certification body.

National subsidies for the organic sector

To promote organic farming, the Moroccan government has developed a strategy that aims both to encourage producers to move towards organic production, and then to convert to organic, and to raise awareness among producers and the population in general on the importance of organic farming. The main measure is the grant of the certification costs. The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries subsidise agriculture in general by other financial supports for agricultural equipment (drip irrigation) and agricultural inputs, which are freed of tax when imported to Morocco.

Organic research in Morocco 

The program contract signed has scheduled funds for R&D estimated up to 6.25  M € until  2020. AMABIO  has  launched  a  call  for  three  research  and training institutions (INRA-ENAM   and IAV)  in  Morocco  to  suggest  R&D projects. Members of AMABIO are called to express   their  needs  and shape  them   in  subjects  to  be  treated  by researchers  in  order  to  adjust  their  research operation  to  the  professional requirements  in  a  dynamic approach.   INRA  which  is  the  only  government institution  dedicated  to  agronomy  research  in  Morocco  is aware  about  the research   in   organic   sector.   Beside   its   cooperation   with   AMABIO, a national  research  program  is  under  consideration in  order  to  develop  links between  different agroecosystems  needs  and  the experimental   sites   (24 experimental   farms   of   INRA   over Morocco).  Soil  fertility,  composting, organic    horticulture,    plant    protection,    plant    and   animal breeding,  socioeconomics... are  main  topics  undergone  by  INRA’s  researchers  to answer professional  calls.  International  cooperation   with  EU  research institutions in the framework of CORE Organic and TIPI Organics will be an excellent   opportunity   to   link   northern   with   southern Mediterranean countries to sustain organic research in a globalized world. Khalid Azim

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Packing units

Tools for higher efficiency Extensive research on varieties and improved crop techniques make possible fairly uniform production, nevertheless, extensive post-harvest selection and sorting is still needed to meet export requirements. The visual aspect plays an important role in conjunction with the purchase of fruits and vegetables. Therefore, buyers are increasingly asking for produce graded according to their external and even internal features.

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n Morocco, over twenty years, fruit and vegetable packing and sorting methods have seen wide change. In packing units manual and visual sorting has gradually been replaced by mechanical and subsequently by electronic devices. The presence of modern equipment makes clients comfortable with the response and adaptability potential of units with which they deal. Packing and weighing machines are increasingly designed for an improved pace in processing. Current calibration devices are able to almost quadruple the said pace in comparison to previous models. This allows handling of large orders over short time periods. Also, more attention is devoted to the much less

chaotic product handling process.

Great versatility

To improve equipment profitability packing machines are becoming increasingly versatile. The new models are suited to all types of product, including some specialties with specific selection criteria. For instance for oblong fruits and vegetables such as cucumbers, eggplants and zucchinis, machines sort according to length, weight and contour of the curve. The equipment used at the units is highly modular and adapted to the space available. Different tools may be added to the basic structures, depending on customer needs and desired sorting accuracy. A single machine can now weigh and package in different packaging types. The new automatic multi-purpose flow-pack machines make possible packing both trays and unpacked products. Multi-purpose bagging machines allow packing products in different types of bags (tomatoes, apple slices, grapes, etc.). Energy conservation is also on the agenda, with machines that stop if they are not being properly fed. In practical terms, the settings are simple, including touch screens that can be used by unskilled personnel. Improvements have been made with regard to care and maintenance: self-cleaning of the line and the cups, and the facilitation of machinery lubrication etc. Finally, to meet the new control and traceability requirements control and traceability solutions are now on the way to being developed.

Accurate measures

Weight measurement can also be accurate to the closest gram. Weighing limits Agriculture du Magherb / Fruit Logistica 2017 P. 40

vary according to machines and products. The new generation of weighing conditioners calculates the best combination to achieve the desired weight. Some fruits can even enter into a second round without changing cup (shock limitation).

Increasingly selective parameters The new equipment available on the market can provide increasingly precise operations with a higher and more accurate calibration. The basic criteria used for the automatic sorting of fruits and vegetables are the size, weight and color. Yet some devices offer further selection, taking also into account the product appearance.

Assessing internal quality Also to be noted is that the most recent generation of equipment offers even more specific selection methods, depending on the visual appearance or internal quality of products. Analysis of these data makes possible assessment of the Brix degree of the product, providing information on sugar levels, the rate of maturity, the browning condition and internal moisture. The firmness of the fruit, difficult to detect from the outside, can be ascertained using acoustic methods measuring the response to vibrations by a product to impacts (the amount of juice and the internal structure of the product).


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