After long months of aridity and consistent drought that have tested Moroccan citrus growers, the rainfalls that Morocco received in February-March give hope for a better season next year, says Mouad Hfa, production manager at Pro Prim.
"The February-March rains came a little too late to save the current citrus season, but they are a good omen for the next season, and will revive the water reserves and an almost dry water table in the Souss Massa region", says Mouad.
He continues, "If we take the example of citrus, we currently grow the Afourar varieties from December to March, and the Maroc Late varieties from April to July. The rainfall comes a little too late to improve volumes, since they are fixed since January. But these rains will surely improve the calibers of the fruits that are currently in bloom."
Reduction in volume was anticipated, adds the producer, "given the low level of rainfall, we have reduced the number of fruits per tree in order to have good caliber and better quality, and the recent rains will further improved the calibers".
"If weather conditions continue to improve, we expect a return next year to a similar level of citrus volumes as the 2020/2021 season, which are also not at their peak but are much better than the current season."
The water table in the region of Souss Massa is under severe stress, according to the producer: "10 years ago, it was enough to dig wells of 20 meters to reach the water. Today, we reach 250-300 meters in some farms. Any rain, whether it arrives on time or late, is good news for us because it will regenerate the level of the water table."
The drought that Morocco has experienced this season has cut in half the volume of citrus. Producers in the Souss Massa region are relying on the Chtouka Ait Baha seawater desalination plant, which became operational in January 2022, concludes Mouad.
For more information:
Mr. Mouad Hfa
Tel: +212 615-545159