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Potato growing in Morocco is progressing under optimal conditions

The potato season in the Loukkos region, in north-west Morocco, is progressing under optimal conditions, unaffected by the severe drought the country is experiencing. This is according to Oussama Didouch, a grower of various fresh produce.

Didouch says, "After a month and 22 days since planting, our crop is now in the tuber formation phase. In the Loukkos region, particularly in Laaouamra, we still enjoy sufficient groundwater reserves. The cold has not been as intense as in previous years, which has spared us frost damage. We have experienced a high relative humidity, which reduces photosynthesis, particularly at the start of the year, but we have been able to manage these conditions."

Although potatoes can be grown three times a year, the grower has opted for a different production method, as he explains: "After the potato harvest, we choose to grow sweet potatoes in May, then zucchini, which is why we only harvest potatoes once a year. Also, unlike most growers who use traditional methods, we opt for mulching and we only use homologued treatment products, which results in a higher production cost compared to other producers."

In terms of varieties, the producer adds, "The most popular and renowned varieties among producers in the region are Diamant, Memphis, Nicola, and Spunta. These varieties are essentially intended for the local market. We opted for the Memphis variety, taking into account the market's preferences, particularly with regard to color, texture, and of course, productivity. After a successful season last year, we increased our area from 1.5 hectares, with a production of 34 tonnes, to 2.5 hectares this year."

In a context of pressing need in the local market, and high inflation of fresh produce prices, Morocco has banned the export of potatoes - among other vegetables - to West Africa and has introduced subsidies to support their production. According to FAO figures, Morocco produced 1.7 million tons of potatoes in 2022, exported 53 thousand tons, and imported 54 thousand tons.

For more information:
Oussama Didouch
Tel: +212687078008