MOROCCO – Morocco’s cereal production for the 2019-2020 season decreased by 39% compared to the previous season reaching 3.2 million tonnes, according to a report by the Ministry of Agriculture.

Soft wheat cereal production reached 1.7 million tonnes, while durum wheat amounted to 790,000 tonnes and barley production reached 640,000 tonnes.

The season’s production was also down by 57% compared to an average year under the ministry’s signature Green Morocco Plan, reports Morocco World.

According to the report, the area put under production was 4.34 million hectares.

The decline in production was attributed to lack of rainfall, with the report highlighting, “Only cereal emergency phases benefited from adequate rainfall, while tillering and bolting suffered dry periods, respectively of 20 and 40 days.”

In August, Morocco’s National Ports Agency (ANP) announced that the country’s imports of cereals reached 5.9 million tonnes during the first seven months of the year, a 49.8% rise from the same period last year.

In other related news, inspite of the economic devastations caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Morocco upped the ante on its exports of fruits and vegetables by supplying one-third of Spain’s produce imports in the first half of 2020.

The exports amounting to 949,155 tonnes were worth €548 million (US$648.7m), up 18% compared to the same period last year.

According to data from the Customs and Special Taxes Department, the evolution of Spain’s imports of fruit and vegetables from Morocco increased from 214,215 tons in the first half of 2016 to 358,329 tons in the first half of 2020, a growth of 67%.

The value of the goods increased from €312.3 million (US$369.7m) to €548 million (US$648.7m) during the same period, a 75% rise.

Between 2015 and 2019, Spain’s imports of fruit and vegetables from Morocco increased by 82% from 236,775 tons to 430,299 tons. The value of the purchases has increased by 94% from €352 million (US$416.7m) to €682 million (US$807.3m).

EU’s imports of Moroccan produce has amounted to 1.4 million tons of fruit and vegetables, representing an increase of 40% over the past five years and 4% since 2018. The value of purchases from Morocco increased to €1.805 billion (US$2.1bn), up 3% from 2018 and 42% from 2015.

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