Exports of fruits and vegetables totaled 474,900 tonnes until January 2021, Minister of Agriculture, Maritime Fisheries, Rural Development, Water and Forests, Aziz Akhannouch, said in Rabat on Monday.
In response to a central question on the progress of the current agricultural season, the Minister clarified that exports of fruits and vegetables have shown an increase of 9% compared to the previous season, adding that it is notably about 260,100 tons of tomatoes (+ 1%), 286,300 of citrus fruits (+ 12%).
He also reported 477,800 tonnes of processed agricultural products (excluding sugar and derivatives), up 12%, including 69,800 tonnes of frozen strawberries (+ 2%), 21,200 tonnes of fruit juice and nectar (+ 28%) , 813,300 tonnes of exports of fishing products (+ 7%).
The year 2020, he noted, was particularly difficult at all levels due to the low rainfall and the circumstances of the state of health emergency in the context of Covid-19. However, the Kingdom has been able to maintain a sufficient production rate to maintain the upward trend in exports, with productivity at reasonable levels, he continued.
The Minister also recalled the measures to mitigate the economic and social repercussions of the current circumstances on small farmers, in particular through performance support and debt rescheduling, as well as the extension of the application of the ministerial decision on state aid for drip irrigation until the end of 2021.
The agricultural sector has managed to maintain a steady pace in terms of exports, going from 17.2 billion DH in 2010 to nearly 40 billion last season, an increase of 130%. This performance is the result of the exceptional efforts made by producers and exporters, but also thanks to the action of the Autonomous Establishment for the Control and Coordination of Exports and the National Office for Food Safety, concluded Aziz Akhannouch.