Following the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic in agricultural production in Spain, Italy and Portugal, European shoppers are rushing to buy Moroccan fruits and vegetables, which have become hot commodities.
Due to lack of farm workers in Spain, main supplier of the European market, demand has spiked in recent days for Moroccan agricultural products mainly for tomatoes, courgettes, peppers, eggplants, oranges and mandarins”, says Lahcen Aderdour, chairman of the Association of Producers & Exporters of Fruit & Vegetables.
According to Moroccan professionals, a growing number of purchasing orders have been placed by agribusinesses from France, Germany, Netherlands, UK and also from North America.
The United States and Canada are major consumers of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese fruit and vegetables. Spanish agricultural sector is currently operating at 10 pc of its capacity, while Italy and Portugal are almost at a standstill. This explains the high demand for Moroccan agricultural produce, especially oranges and mandarins.
Morocco’s agricultural sector contributes 19 pc to the national GDP and employs over 4 million people including about 100,000 in agro-industry. It plays a key role in macroeconomic balances of the country. It supports the income of 80 pc of the 14 million rural people who work in the agricultural sector, which has suffered from low investment and low productivity.