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Moroccan citrus growers look to research for greater productivity

With several dry seasons in a row, Moroccan citrus growers have had to make do with less water. As a result, they've increasingly turned to research addressing greater productivity with fewer resources.

“Due to many successive dry years, irrigation water is becoming scarce,” said Fatiha Charrat, sales and marketing director for Delassus. “This is particularly the case in the Souss region.” She estimated that that rainfall has been less than 400 millimeters per year in most citrus-growing areas, so the need for ways to cope with less water has only become more important. Though that's not the only area where research is focused.

“The situation has meant that current research projects are addressing aspects related to water economy,” said Charrat. “They also address variety and rootstock improvement, production and productivity, pest management, post-harvest management and storage for optimum quality.” While looking to boost productivity with less water, quality of fruit must also be maintained. With half of all citrus grown in Morocco shipped to the Europe Union, Canada and Russia, quality and appearance of fruit is also paramount for good export sales.

“We know that consumers like fruit that is easy to peel, with excellent eating quality, good color, good flavor and appropriate size; fruit has to be free of blemishes and scarring and present no chemical residues,” said Charrat. “Research undertaken in various research institutions and laboratories is geared toward satisfying these needs.” With an emphasis on applied research and production techniques, Charrat sees improved production, and clementines, the fruit with the greatest export numbers, are expected to contribute 15,000 containers to export numbers this season.

“This season's crop is showing positive numbers,” said Charrat. “Quality and quantity seem good, and large new farms are producing their first clementines this season, especially in the center of the country and Gharb areas.”

For more information:
Fatiha Charrat
Delassus Group
Tel: +212 665 186 868


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