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Potato of Morocco in Figures ...


Consumption

 First vegetable consumed in Morocco before ... tomatoes, onions, carrots...
With an annual consumption of 35 to 40 kg / capita, Potato is part of everyday popular Moroccan families.
Potato is consumed in chicken or beef tagines, it is also eaten in salad.
Potato consumption has grown fast in the chips format with growth of fast foods in urban areas.
Finally, the potato is a vegetable with health benefit :
Rich in fiber , vitamin C and B1, protein, potassium and antioxidants. Consumption does not lead to weight gain in contrast to widespread opinion!

Economical importance

- Domestic consumption:
-  1.5 million tons
-  Around 100 000 hectares of irrigated crop

- Production areas
Loukkos - Doukkala - Abda - Berkane - Tadla  - Middle Atlas

- Number of producers
About 50 000 to 60 000 producers mostly small and medium: 0.5 to 3 ha

- Turnover generated by the sector

2 to 2 , 5 billion dirhams this is an important resource of income for a large part of the rural population

- Number of days of jobs created by this activity
20 million working days

Seed Production

- Certified seed
 Around 2,500 tons of the 170,000 tons planted less than 2 % of needs!

- Imports of certified seed
 40 to 50,000 tons / year or around 200 to 250 million dirhams !
 The market for imported seed is highly speculative and often leads to price distortions that affect the income of the producer.

Plant Market
Potato consumption of pesticides is around 100 to 150 million dirhams.

Industrial Transformation

Units exists but often face supply problems hence the reliance on imports . Indeed, Morocco cannot it meet its needs in quantity and quality through local production.

Export

Export regresses and cannot reach even the 10,000 tons. The European Union has granted us a quota of 135,000 tonnes exemption from customs duties from December to late April.


Perspectives

Potato is the forgotten industry in the agricultural sector and has received little encouragement measures for upgrading itself as an essential part in the economy of the rural world.
It is essentially due to the size of its producers, the potato industry could not develop pure lobbying to defend its interests. Yet this is an area that will know big changes in the future.

There is an urgent need to take the following measures:

- Organize the profession
- Launch a substantial domestic production of certified plants to improve the sector performance
- Create a potato sector like other major speculation
- Restart the export to Europe but also to the emerging markets such as Africa


By Mohammed ZAHIDI

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