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Videos show impact of storm Bernard on red fruits and berries in Morocco

Violent, sand-laden winds reaching speeds of up to 106 km hit Morocco's Atlantic coast, affecting crops, especially arboriculture and soft fruit. In Larache, the hardest-hit location, the winds swept away greenhouses and fruit. Zouhir Daissoria, from red fruit producer Rika, reviews the damage to red fruits and berries.

According to Zouhir, raspberries were the worst affected by the storm. He says, "We're currently in the third raspberry harvest of the season, and we were due to reach peak harvest next week. In raspberries, the storm's impact on export crops was greatest, with a loss of 70-80% of volumes. Some growers even lost their entire crop. In addition, the plants have been damaged and will have to be replaced. Over the whole season, this would correspond to a loss of around 10% of volumes."

Zouhir says, "There's been no impact on the strawberries, as they're not yet ready at this time of year. There have been losses of plants, but there's still time to catch up. Losses in terms of volume over the whole season will therefore, be minimal."

"There hasn't been much impact on blueberries since they've just been planted, with harvests expected by the end of December. In the majority of cases, growers haven't even set up greenhouses yet or haven't installed greenhouse covers. Yet we've recorded a loss of around 10% of blueberry plants.

" The damage in terms of equipment is significant. Very few greenhouses are still standing in the most hit areas," adds Zouhir. "All over the Larache region, close to half of greenhouses were destroyed. Damage varies between growers, some of whom have seen their greenhouses damaged, while others are repairable or have lost only the shading nets or covers."

Affected regions
The storm hit the country's Atlantic coast, with the strongest winds recorded in the north of the country, between Rabat and Larache. According to Zouhir, "This axis, which corresponds to the Gharb-Loukkous agricultural regions, accounts for 62% of soft fruit production. The Souss Massa region and its capital, Agadir, were spared, and the red fruit season is later there in any case."

For more information:
Zouhir Daissoria
Tel.: +212661327642
Email: [email protected]