Thanks to its plant richness, with around 4,200 species, including 600 plants with medicinal and aromatic properties, Morocco ranks 2nd worldwide after Turkey, announced the director of the National Agency for Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (ANPMA), Abdelkhalek Farhat.
“Morocco produces annually around 140,000 tonnes of these plants which are the subject of increasing attention due to their use in several fields, including traditional medicine, cosmetics, food preservation, oil extraction. essential … etc, “ Farhat said in an interview with MAP.
“In terms of exports, Morocco ranks 12th in the world, with 52,000 tonnes of plants and 5,000 tonnes of oils mainly intended for Europe and America”, said the director of ANPMA, stressing that among the main export products are carob, rosemary, thyme, argan oil, essential oils and roses.
“The medicinal and aromatic plants sector, in which many professional organizations, institutions and research centers operate, offers around 500,000 working days per year”, he stressed.
“In addition, the impact of climate change and the strong pressure on resources have contributed to the extinction of several plant species, a finding to which is added the lack of mastery of production, processing and recovery techniques, as well as that the lack of coordination of scientific research at national level ”, he regretted.
To promote this sector, a strategy has been developed with the aim of encouraging scientific research and the development of the medicinal and aromatic plants niche, through the preservation and sustainability of natural resources through research programs on domestication and culture.
This strategy, which is based on Law 111-12 establishing the Agency, also aims to carry out research themes that meet the concerns of industrialists, he explained. It thus aims to erect the medicinal and aromatic plants sector into an industrialized and modern sector with added value mainly focused on the medical and aromatic aspects.
It mainly focuses on scientific research and innovative development. It provides for a mapping and categorization of medicinal and aromatic plants in Morocco, the preservation of wild varieties, the cultivation and improvement of other species and the description of their active components.
It is also a question of valorization by biological applications, the contribution to the increase of the national scientific production around these plants, and the improvement of the systems of marketing of this production in order to valorize the results of research.