MOROCCO – Israeli manufacturer of irrigation equipment, Netafim, has officially opened its first North African manufacturing plant in Kenitra, Morocco, creating at least 200 jobs.

At a total cost of 2.8 million dollars (30 million dirhams), the new Moroccan plant will mainly produce drippers for irrigation.

With this new unit, Netafim will now produce drippers locally for irrigation. It will initially supply the domestic market before gradually extending its offer to other countries in North Africa and the Middle East (MENA).

According to a statement from the company, the plant would boost the local supply of precision irrigation systems in Morocco and “strengthen the country’s agricultural sector.”

Netafim noted that Morocco’s prime location in the heart of EMEA and extensive transport infrastructure enables its high-value crops to be easily shipped to European markets.

The multinational micro-irrigation technologies company has been operating in Morocco since 1994 through its subsidiary Regafim.

it was only in 2017 that Netafim created a subsidiary in Morocco 2017 thanks to the agricultural engineer Marouane Benmouama, director of North and West Africa of Netafim Morocco, until July 2022 (currently Managing Director Africa of Earthsense). Barely five years after its launch, the subsidiary has reached a turnover of US$25 million.

The new plant has also signed several partnership agreements with Moroccan public institutes such as the National Institute of Agronomic Research (INRA) and the Agronomic and Veterinary Institute of Agadir.

The pacts will cement the Moroccan government initiative “Green Morocco and Green Generation 2020-2030 plans, aiming to support and modernize the agricultural sector.”

In addition, the company plan to develop a million hectares of agricultural land while conserving water and creating 350,000 jobs for young people.

The inauguration is timely as Morocco, which accounts for 25% of tomato exports to the UK, is facing rocketing prices for some fruits and vegetables resulting in a ban on exports.

Moroccan associations for farmers blame the shortage of tomato exports to the UK on the “unusual temperature fluctuations,” according to a report from fruitnet.

Responding to the tomato shortage that the UK is currently facing, Apefel, and Amcom, two Moroccan associations of vegetable producers, exporters, and packers clarified that climate change is behind the notable drop in tomato production and exports to the UK.

Since the start of the growing season, a long period of cold,” which was followed by “abnormally high temperatures,” marked the weather in Morocco, the two associations explained.

The associations continued to explain that the situation is only temporary and said that stakeholders in Morocco are undertaking huge efforts to restore balance to the domestic market and boost exports.

For all the latest food industry news from Africa and the World, subscribe to our NEWSLETTER, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel.