The national production of olives for the 2021-2022 campaign is estimated at nearly 2 million tonnes (MT), up 21% compared to the previous campaign, said, Wednesday in Rabat, the Minister of Agriculture , maritime fishing, rural development and water and forests, Mohamed Sadiki.
The olive sector is the main fruit species cultivated in Morocco with an area of 1.2 million hectares, representing 65% of the national arboreal area, the minister said in a statement to the press on the sidelines of a meeting held with the Moroccan Interprofessional Olive Federation (Interprolive) and all its components.
Due to its economic role, this sector is an important source of jobs with nearly 51 million working days per year, added Mr. Sadiki. For his part, the president of Interprolive, Rachid Benali, indicated that the meeting concerns the monitoring of production and marketing, especially in an agricultural season, which took place in very difficult conditions, in terms of irrigation and rainfall.
The meeting was an opportunity to discuss the problems that may be encountered in production or marketing, whether at national or international level, as well as the assistance that can be provided, continued Mr. Benali. The sector has experienced significant development within the framework of the Green Morocco Plan thanks to the plantations carried out, State aid within the framework of the Agricultural Development Fund and the efforts of professionals. The olive-growing area recorded an increase of 61% between 2007-2008 and 2021-2022 and the average production of olives increased by 209% between 2003-2007 and 2017-2022. The sector contributes to the balance of the trade balance by ensuring an entry in foreign currency equivalent to 2 billion DH/year with exports on average of 91,300 T/year of table olives, 15,000 T/year of olive oil and 13,700 T/year of olive pomace oil. Morocco thus occupies third place in terms of table olive exports and ninth place in terms of olive oil exports.
In addition, the meeting focused on the situation of the olive sector and its future development within the framework of the Generation Green strategy. The discussions focused on the achievements and evolution of the sector within the framework of the Green Morocco Plan (PMV) and the development prospects within the framework of the program contract by 2030.
In addition, the professionals raised the various constraints that hinder the development of the sector, in particular the importance of programming the date of the olive harvest to counter price increases by speculators, unfair competition from intermediaries, bulk and the informal sector, the difficulties related to the lack of water or even the competitiveness of products on export markets.