MOROCCO – Morocco’s cereal production declined by 40.5% during the 2018-2019 crop year to at 6.1 million tonnes, according to a report published by the Moroccan Ministry of Finance.

The report cites poor the rainfall season as the main reason for the drop in crop production which saw the average cereal yield slip to 1.3 tonnes per hectare, down 43% from the 2017/2018 season.

According to the report, the production constituted of 3.5 million tonnes of common wheat, 1.33 million tonnes of durum wheat and 1.25 million tonnes of barley compared to the average total production of 7.5 quintals.

In April this year, the Ministry of Agriculture had acknowledged that the country would have a lower harvest of the three main cereals: wheat, barely and durum due to poor rainfall recorded in the crop year.

However, the ministry of finance report forecasts a positive season for the fruit growing sectors, rearing and rangelands while the projected yields of sugar beet are estimated at 70 tonnes per hectare.

Despite the reeling cereal sector, export statistics show that the value exports from the agriculture and agri-food sector increased by more than 5.4% at the end of the first five months of 2019.

US authorizes import of fresh raspberries from Morocco

After concluding its findings on a pest risk analysis, the United States has given a greenlight for the importation of fresh raspberries from Morocco, reports Morocco News.

 “We have determined that the application for one or more designated phytosanitary measures will be sufficient to mitigate the risks of introduction of disseminating plant pests or noxious weeds via the importation of raspberries from Morocco,” the US government said in a statement.

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) also proposed an amendment of the regulations concerning the importation of fruits and vegetables to allow the importation of fresh raspberry fruit from Morocco into the continental United States.

However, APHIS noted that “the raspberries would have to be produced under a systems approach employing a combination of mitigation measures for the quarantine pest Monilinia fructigena.”

“The raspberries would have to be imported in commercial consignments only and must be field inspected for signs of Monilinia fructigena infection no more than 30 days prior to harvest.”

Morocco expects to export 200 to 500 metric tons of fresh raspberries to the continental US yearly, APHIS said.

Trade activities between the two countries have continued to intensify over the past year.

In December 2018, the US Trade Representative (USTR) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that the Moroccan government has agreed to allow imports of U.S. beef and beef products into Morocco.

USDA also announced in August 2018 that Morocco will import US poultry, opening up an estimated US$10 million market.”