A violent storm hit Morocco over the weekend, accompanied by strong sand-laden winds reaching 106 km/h in some areas. The storms are attributed to "Storm Bernard", which is hitting the Atlantic coast.
In the agricultural sector, the damage is impressive. The winds blew away crops and damaged trees and greenhouses. The hardest-hit region is Larache, where the bulk of Morocco's soft fruit, avocado, and other fruit production is concentrated.
Abdellah El Yamlahi, an avocado producer based in the Larache region and president of the Moroccan Avocado Association, told FreshPlaza: "The storm was surprising. The damage in terms of crop losses and damage to trees is important. All avocado-producing regions are affected, from Loukkous to Gharb."
Baioua Oussama, a soft fruit grower in the same region, said, "The area from Larache to Moulay Bousselhem has been severely hit. Many growers have lost everything, especially in arboriculture and soft fruit. The winds tore up the trees carried away the crops, and covered the soft fruit areas with sand. Soft fruits are sensitive, so the damage is irreparable."
Oussama continues, "The damage in terms of equipment is great. A lot of trees are broken. The winds have also blown away the greenhouses, which will have to be rebuilt."