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Morocco fruit and vegetable sector seeks UK partners

Morocco is currently aiming to create an environment which will facilitate stronger agricultural trade with the UK.

For the first time this year the Moroccan fruit and vegetable products were showcased in London at the ‘World Fruit and Vegetable Show’ which took place at the ExCel Centre on 21-22 October.

The country’s presence at this international event was organised by Maroc Export, the
Moroccan Centre for Export Promotion, in partnership with the Moroccan Embassy in London.

Moroccan exporters are presently seeking to establish contacts with British buyers, with a view to building long-term trading relationships.

With the quality and diversity of its agricultural products, Morocco has an important part to play in developing the exportation of its natural produce to the UK. In 2008, the value of Morocco’s exports to the UK was measured at MAD5,220,652, representing 3% of total export value and making the country Morocco’s seventh biggest customer, according to the Moroccan Exchange Office.

A forum on Moroccan agriculture held at the conference was addressed HRH Princess Lalla Joumala Alaoui, Ambassador for H M the King of Morocco in London; Mr Aziz Akhennouch, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Mr Ahmed El Hajjaji, Director of the Agricultural Development Agency and Mr Saâd Benabdallah, Managing Director of Maroc Export.

H R H Princess Lalla Joumala Alaoui told the meeting: “Under the guidance of H M King Mohammed VI, Morocco has embarked on a path of major development of its economy. The agricultural sector is by far one of the most important ones.”

The Ambassador said that the country had always put agriculture at the forefront of its national economic policy and that the sector was now contributing some 17 percent of GDP.

Encouraging world classification
Morocco is classed as:
-2nd worldwide exporter of citrus fruits
-6th worldwide exporter of oranges
-2nd worldwide exporter of clementines after Spain
-10th worldwide exporter of tomatoes and unchallenged product leader in terms of Moroccan truck farming
-2nd worldwide exporter of French beans
-11th worldwide exporter of strawberries, of which several varieties are known for their precocity (Chandler, Gariguette, Douglas, Osso Grande and Selva)
-12th worldwide exporter of melons.
Essential contribution to the economy
-The fresh fruit and vegetable sector represents 20% of industrial exports
-Share of GDP: 16 to 20% depending on the year
-72 % of citrus fruit exports are intended for the European Union, as well as almost all early fruit and vegetable produce.
-Truck farming exports: 53 % intended for Russia, 34 % intended for the EU.
-Organic produce: Morocco’s organic produce is concentrated in the Souss region.
Europe is the main importer, in particular France, Germany and the United Kingdom.

Moroccan agriculture boasts the most important region in terms of arable and
irrigated lands. Its temperate and semi-arid climates, combined with a very long growing season, allows Morocco to produce a wide variety of fruit and vegetable produce.

The long growing season enables Morocco to have a vast agricultural system and a high level of agricultural production.

Morocco's top five export categories, which make up one fourth of all Moroccan exports, include: fresh fruit and vegetables, fresh and prepared fish, olive oils, spices, nuts and dried fruits, pre-prepared dishes (made from fruit and vegetables).
The country boasts an advantageous infrastructure, social and economic environment.  Its transportation and communication systems, along with its low cost labour force, offer significant comparative advantages for Moroccan agribusiness. Indeed, the excellent roads, ports, railways and airports serve both industry and tourists.

A special programme exists to make state owned agricultural land available to private entrepreneurs with the goal of ensuring crop supply locally, and growing export potential.

In addition, government subsidiaries are made available for certain sub-sectors, including cereals, fruit and vegetables.

In addition, Morocco's agricultural system is extremely open to innovation and has the capacity to effectively adopt new methods or practices.

Close links with Europe and the Middle East
- Strong partnership between Morocco and the European Union – the country has been in the food processing and agricultural sectors for many years now.
- A number of free trade agreements exist with the following partners: European Union, USA, Turkey and Arab countries (Tunisia, Jordan, and Egypt). These agreements ensure duty-free access to the above markets for various food products.
- Several large multinationals are present in Morocco today, including Nestlé, Kraft Foods, Coca Cola, Danone.
Green Plan

Morocco recently adopted a “Green Plan” as a new national strategy designed to implement an ambitious agricultural development policy. The aim is to make Morocco’s agricultural products internationally competitive.
The Green Plan is based on two pillars:

Pillar 1: Drive for an agricultural system that offers both added-value and high productivity:
• 10 billion dirhams investment for aggregation projects
• A global outlook
• Accelerated land management
• Plan for 2015:
- 400 000 operators targeted
- 110 - 115 billion dirhams investment
- 700 - 900 projects

Pillar 2: Supporting smallholders
• Wave of social investment
• Targeting investors
• Efficient water use
• Modernisation of distribution
• Plan for 2015:
- 600 - 800 000 operators targeted
- 15 - 20 billion dirhams investment
- 300 - 400 projects


Publication date: 11/16/2009


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